A pitch for charity: Firefighters, law enforcement compete in softball game for charityThey are at it again. And for the third year in a row, they’re coming at each other with bats instead of brooms.
By: Jo Colvin, Alexandria Echo Press
They are at it again. And for the third year in a row, they’re coming at each other with bats instead of brooms.
The Alexandria Fire Department and Douglas County Law Enforcement will once again exercise their athletic prowess and competitive edge as they face each other in a game of softball. The game is set for Sunday, July 31 at 1 p.m. at Knute Nelson Memorial Park in Alexandria.
Two worthy causes will benefit from the battle – all proceeds will go to the local Alexandria Area Special Olympics and the Windmill Project.
The law enforcement team consists of staff from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Police Department, Osakis Police Department and the Department of Natural Resources. The Alexandria Fire Department team includes local volunteer firefighters.
The heated competition between the two entities started several years ago when Douglas County Law Enforcement challenged the law enforcement students at Alexandria Technical College to a game of hockey. After three years, the Alexandria Fire Department replaced the tech school students, and an ongoing, friendly but competitive rivalry began.
When the fire department stepped in, the game switched from hockey to broomball. In the next 10 years of broomball competition, the firefighters were on fire. They swept law enforcement away, compiling a 10-0 record.
“There were quite a few broomball games where we skunked them,” bragged Jeff Karrow, a representative of the fire department.
“They’ve probably told you their record is unbelievable,” countered Ron Boyden of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. “But starting out, we wanted to play hockey but they didn’t want to because they couldn’t skate.”
Two years ago, the game of choice once again changed, this time to softball. But it didn’t change the desire for bragging rights from the fire department. They got one more chance – the first year of battling bats resulted in the fire department emerging the victors – again.
But the bragging was short-lived. Last year, for the first time, law enforcement won. And on July 31, they have every intention of continuing their “winning streak.”
“With softball we are one and one,” Boyden said. “And if they really want to get technical, the score last year was much higher in our favor than the year they beat us. I think we’ve got them again.”
Despite their outward teasing and feigned antagonism, the two organizations have a great time and are concerned only about the final score – helping those in need.
“It’s a very friendly camaraderie,” Karrow insisted. “We just really have fun.”
“It has been just a blast playing against them,” Boyden agreed. “The competitiveness comes out in all of us, but our goal and the bottom line is to raise money for charity. We obviously hope to raise as much money as we can.”
What: Charity softball game – Alexandria Fire Department vs. Douglas County Law Enforcement
When: Sunday, July 31 at 1 p.m. Gates open at noon.
Where: Knute Nelson Memorial Park in Alexandria
• Proceeds go to the Alexandria Area Special Olympics and the Windmill
• Cost is $2 and includes admission to the Alexandria Beetles game at 3:05 p.m.
• The event will feature games between innings; a ball toss; bat spin; base race; concession specials; radar pitch machine; K-9 demonstration; kids’ fun house; and Sparky the fire dog.
• Kids wearing DARE clothing or youth athletic uniforms can get in for free.
• The game is sponsored by the Alexandria Fire Department, Douglas County Law Enforcement and the Alexandria Beetles.
• For information, call Ron Boyden at the sheriff’s office at (320) 762-8151.