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Softball game pays off for Safe Haven

sliding into base-webBy MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

Although afternoon storms kept some people away from Saturday’s Guns-N-Hoses Charity Softball Game, the event actually raised more money than last year.

Ellen Mitchell, director of Safe Haven Child Visitation Centers of the New River Valley, said the nonprofit agency cleared $11,500 from this year’s game, which was held Saturday night at Calfee Park. Last year’s game raised just over $10,000 and the 2011 game raised just under $10,000.

Mitchell said ticket sales indicate about 1,300 people attended the game, despite a couple of afternoon “monsoons” that were accompanied by thunder and lightning. Last year’s attendance exceeded 2,000, but the fact this year’s game attracted more sponsors enabled proceeds to increase.

The Guns-N-Hoses ballgame is a major source of income for Safe Haven and is its only fundraiser of the year. The agency provides traumatized, and often abused and neglected, children with a safe place to visit with estranged parents during court ordered supervised visitation. It is a strictly volunteer organization.

The game pits REMSI medics and law enforcement personnel against area firefighters. Each team had two wins in the five-year series until Saturday night, when the Guns defeated the Hoses, 27-22.

The Hoses were down 23-13 at the top of the sixth inning, but rallied back in the eighth with nine runs to threaten a last minute victory. The prospect looked good as the Hoses held the Guns at 27 in the bottom of the eighth. All hopes of a comeback win were dashed, however, when the Guns retired the Hoses quickly in the top of the ninth to take home the trophy.

Agencies participating in this year’s game included Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Pulaski Police Department, Dublin Police Department, Virginia State Police, Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, REMSI and all area fire departments.

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