For the City Times
The 2016 Guns N’ Hoses charity softball game has been scheduled for Aug. 27 at Leo Cub Mancheski Field in Bukolt Park.
The third-annual game, during which Stevens Point firefighters will face local law enforcement in friendly exhibition play, is the main attraction of the fundraiser, which directly benefits local veterans of United States military service.
In its first two years, the local Guns N’ Hoses event has raised more than $73,000 to benefit the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, a Wausau-based organization which flies veterans free of charge to Washington, D.C. for a day of sightseeing at war memorials built in their honor. The NFHF flies its “missions” four times annually from the Central Wisconsin Airport, having already flown thousands of veterans from WWII, Korea and Vietnam wars who live in Portage and surrounding counties.
The 2015 event also raised funds for the Portage Co. Veterans Relief Fund, a county-run program which assists local veterans with emergency housing needs, medical costs and other unexpected expenses.
This year’s event will continue to raise funds for NFHF and the Veterans Relief Fund, but will also benefit additional local veteran assistance organizations.
“We’ve added local disabled veteran hunts [and] Ageless Aviation Dreams Fly-In as beneficiaries of the funds we raise this year,” said Kevin Ruder, co-chair of the planning committee. “This fundraiser has become far more successful than we ever planned when we started.”
Gates at Leo Cub Mancheski Field, located at the entrance of Bukolt Park, 100 Bukolt Ave., open at 9 AM, with food, beverages and T-shirts available for purchase, and several emergency vehicles on display for the public.
Opening ceremonies start at 10:30 AM, which includes introduction of teams and special guest umpires, as well as the ceremonial “first pitch” thrown by veterans from various eras of military service.
The game starts at 11 AM. Admission and parking are free.
For more information, search for the “Guns N’ Hoses” page on Facebook, or contact co-chair Traci Tauferner at (920) 979-5567.