Niagara Gazette — “Oh yeah, I though it would be nice if we reached 50 or 60 people,” he said. “Now I can’t find a bigger event than this anywhere in the United States. It’s a good feeling to have that success.”
Lifters compete in individual and team events in three different divisions, the Open, Police-Fire and, just recently, High School.
His youngest competitor ever, showed up this year.
“We had a 3-year-old,” Brochey said. “His dad paid the full entrance fee and he had this set of styrofoam barbells and he lifted just like the other kids.”
Not surprisingly, with a special division for police and fire, the competition had become a favorite for Falls police. Officer Andrew Pappas, who started competing in 2008 when he was working for the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office. is one of the Falls Police Team leaders.
“I did it just for fun,” he said, “and I had so much fun I wanted to keep doing it (on the Falls police force).”
With fellow Officers Kevin Maluchnik, Tina Zell and Kevin Henderson and Narcotics Detective Jay Reynolds, Pappas has helped steer the team to three consecutive first place finishes in the Police-Fire Division.
“(The Falls Police Team) they are the real thing,” Brochey said. “They are the real McCoy.”
With a department that numbers dozens of military reservists and veterans in its ranks, Pappas said the participation in the Red Brick competition makes perfect sense.
“We know what its like to put our lives on the line every day,” Pappas said, “but we have our families here for support, our troops (overseas) don’t have that. With all of our guys who served in the military and are still serving in the reserves, this is a big deal.”
Brochey said with U.S. troops scheduled to come home in 2014, he though next year’s competition would be the last, but now, he’s not so sure.
“We thought we’d have one, last, final challenge, but the we thought, because it’s been so successful, maybe we should keep it going,” Brochey said.
He said the Wounded Warriors Project or Western New York Heroes could be the new beneficiaries of the Red Brick Championship.
“I don’t think we’re finished yet,” Brochey said.