CALUMET TOWNSHIP - The first Run Like the Finn benefit run in December 2011 was intended to raise money for Amy Roberts to help her and her family cover medical expenses she had as a result of a traffic accident in which she was involved, but this year Roberts wanted to change the focus of the fundraising.
The organization Roberts and her friends chose to receive proceeds from the event was the Copper Country Police and Fire Relief Fund, also known as the Pigs 'n Heat Fund.
Roger Heikkila, president of Pigs 'n Heat, said before the start of the event Saturday, although members of the organization originally gave funds they raised to Red Cross, in 2001, it was decided to create the fund and distribute money to people who had experienced a fire or other emergency.
"If someone is displaced, we will pay for two nights in a hotel," Heikkila said.
The fund can also be used to help people replace some belongings, such as furniture or clothes, Heikkila said.
People who have to travel 100 or more miles for medical treatment can also receive financial help from the fund, Heikkila said.
Pigs 'n Heat are comprised of all the fire and police departments in Houghton and Keweenaw counties, Heikkila said.
The fund has averaged about $14,000 per year for past three or four years, Heikkila said, and most of that comes from the annual Pigs 'n Heat hockey game. However, the fire at Heritage Manor in Houghton in August put a strain on the fund.
"We paid out more than we took in last year," he said.
The next Pigs 'n Heat hockey game is March 23 at the Colosseum in Calumet Township, Heikkila said.