HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Monday evening, Senator John Velis played a group of Holyoke YMCA youths in a basketball game with tip-off at 5:30 pm. Senator Velis was joined by Mayor Joshua Garcia, Sheriff Nick Cocchi, and District Attorney Anthony Gulluni on the court.

Senator Velis told 22News, “This involves me not being able to control my big mouth, and every time I walk into a gym I challenge a bunch of kids to a game of hoops and we like to do it for a good cause.”

In addition to the game, Senator Velis presented a donation to the YMCA to help with transportation costs associated with trips and outings they take youth members on.

22News also asked Senator Velis what’s the latest in the State house in regards to the Holyoke Soldier’s Home.

“We’re in the midst of the Holyoke Soldier’s Homes conference committee there’s a lot going on with that, a lot of back and forth we just need to maintain, and make sure we can come up with a solution that will prevent anything like that happening again,” Senator Velis said.

77 veterans lost their lives and law officials are working together to make sure nothing like that ever happens again.