This Saturday, local police officers and firefighters will duke it out on the field for a chance for ultimate victory, as well as the opportunity to support a worthy cause.
Guns-N-Hoses, a charity event organized by Safe Haven volunteer Autumn DeHart, let’s both groups and those attending have a great time on the diamond, with proceeds benefiting Safe Haven Child Visitation Center of the New River Valley.
Safe Haven is a non-profit organization that provides court ordered supervised visitation and monitored exchange for children who have been affected by domestic violence, abuse and neglect. They have served 82 families since opening two years ago.
The organization is operated by volunteers and is funded solely by grants and donations from individuals and businesses.
"It is their main line of funding," said Autumn DeHart, who has helped organize the event the last two years. "There aren’t many programs for funding because they are so new and you don’t hear about them so often. With me working in emergency services and my husband being a firefighter, we thought it would be a good opportunity not only to provide an activity for the community, but it would be a good chance to bring everybody together, enjoy some sportsmanship and camaraderie, and benefit a good cause at the same time."
Last year, the Hoses were able to take the game and bragging rights over the Guns, 46-34.
That game marked not only a win for the Hoses, but a victory off the diamond as well. A thousand tickets were sold and over $5,000 was raised for Safe Haven on Third Street in northwest Pulaski.
DeHart recalled how the idea for the game developed and came together "on a whim" last year.
"We were very well received. Everybody you could classify as a first responder in the community welcomed the idea. They were eager to pitch in and help. That’s what made it happen."
She added that the event wouldn’t have been possible without the support, participation and assistance of first responders, who donated their resources, time and equipment.
Last year, the Guns team consisted of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, Pulaski Police Department and Dublin Police Department, while the Hoses included members of the Pulaski, Dublin, Fairlawn, Draper, Hiwassee and Newbern fire departments and Regional Emergency Medical Services Inc. (REMSI).
This year, Twin Community Fire Department and Virginia State Police will join in the event.
This year’s game will be played and dedicated to the memory of firefighter Joseph "Joe Man" Calfee, who passed away Oct. 11, 2009. Last year, late Pulaski Fire Department member Jeff Reed was honored and his family received a plaque in his memory.
Free hats and badges will be given out to the first 200 children who are accompanied by an adult. Door prizes will also be given away. Prizes include a night’s stay and breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn in Blacksburg, a ladies watch from Lemon’s Jewelry, a sofa from ROWE furniture valued at $1,000, golf packages and various gift certificates.
There will be appearances by Smokey Bear, Fire Pup, and Safe T. Sam. Public safety vehicles will be on display and there will also be special entertainment.
The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with game time slated for 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under.
For more information, call Autumn DeHart at 320-1507 or Ellen Mitchell at 808-0096.