Local Firefighter Clay Nestor will play hockey for the ‘Fire’ team at special fundraiser 

By Tim Douglass


It is only fitting that Glenwood’s own Clay Nestor, an accomplished hockey player in his youth, will be on the ice for the annual Guns-N-Hoses Hockey game that’s a fundraiser for an organization that helps emergency responders’ families who have died while on duty.

Last April, Glenwood lost Pope County Deputy Josh Owen when he was killed in the line of duty.  And this hockey event, set for Feb. 23 at the Blaine Super Rink, is a fundraiser for Front Line Foundation, the organization that helps families of police, firefighters, EMS and National Guard members who have died while on duty.  

The Guns-N-Hoses event is an annual hockey game that features local police personnel pitted against local fire personnel (plus a few NHL guest players), in an epic game of hockey as they battle for coveted bragging rights as to who is the better hockey team – all while they raise funds to support a very important cause. What used to be a hockey game first organized as a competition between police and firefighters from Anoka County only, now includes competitive tryouts with hockey players from throughout the state.

That’s how Clay Nestor got involved in the Guns-N-Hoses event.  

Nestor will be the starting goalie for the firefighters after the 14-year Glenwood Firefighter tried out for the team recently and was selected as the firefighter’s top goalie. “Actually Dave Orlowski (a former Glenwood Fire Chief) saw something about the event on Facebook and mentioned it to me,” Nestor explained last week. He said he looked into it and saw that it was for a good cause and because he still plays hockey he thought it would be fun to “give it a try.”

Wes Peterson, chair of the board of the Lino Lakes Volunteers in Public Safety (LLVIPS) organization, said in a news release that the competition between police and firefighters has been lopsided in the first seven years of the games. 

“A little known fact is that the fire team has never won.  Over seven years, the police have beat them every single year, Peterson said.  “But I was actually able to attend the tryouts because it has become very competitive who gets to play and who doesn’t.  I gotta tell you, the goalie that the fire team has this year is legit.”  He was referring to Clay Nestor. 

Those who have lived in Glenwood for years, remember Clay Nestor as a standout goalie who played youth hockey in Alexandria and then as the starting goalie for the Fergus Falls High School Hockey team that went to the state hockey tournament twice while Nestor was on the team. (Glenwood did not have a local hockey program.)

The Guns-N-Hoses hockey event is set for 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23 at the Blaine Super Rink in Blaine, Minn.  The address for those driving there is 1750 105th Ave. NE, Blaine, MN.

Who Does

Guns-N-Hoses Benefit?

Each year, the Guns-N-Hoses planning committee interviews and selects what we feel would be a great partner to support by providing much needed financial support. This year, LLVIPS and its Premier Sponsor Centennial Youth Hockey Association are proud to announce the selection of  FRONT LINE FOUNDATION as the charitable benefactor for the 8th Annual Gun-N-Hoses Hockey Charity Classic event. 

The Front Line Foundation began to help and support Fallen Heroes, including Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, EMS, and the Minnesota National Guard. We provide support to those who died while in the line of duty, by giving benefit payments to dependents of fallen first responders. 

In addition, Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, and EMS First Responders face armed and dangerous criminals, impaired individuals wielding weapons, even emotionally charged and threatening domestic disputes. 

“They are the Front Line Defenders of our neighborhoods, towns, and cities who face and diffuse the high-risk, frequently appalling situations we know or hear about, with disbelief, on the news,” it was stated.   They also provide endowments and support for the families of fallen heroes, The Front Line Foundation will underwrite scholarships and training registration costs for Front Line personnel as well as support preparedness training for safety officers in hospitals, schools, and places of worship. Further, they assist with the purchase of needed safety and tactical equipment not currently within the budget of the local unit of government.

Donations can be given through the group’s website at gnhnow.com.  The game is being broadcast through North Metro TV or streaming on gnhnow.com.