Porter County Sheriff's Department

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Hoops with a heart

Olivia Chavez, 11 months, reaches out to Sparky, a mascot for the South Haven Fire Department, as she's cradled by her father, Jeremy, during halftime of a charity basketball game between the South Haven Fire Department and the Porter County sheriff's Department at the South Haven Boys & Girls Club.


Hoops with a heart
Thursday, May 24, 2007

South Haven firefighters flame out in game against sheriff's deputies

Porter County Sheriff’s deputies turned up the heat this week in a charity basketball game against the South Haven Fire Department.  

The deputies and firefighters took to the court in a Battle of the Badges to raise money for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. They got an assist from the members of the South Haven Boys & Girls Club, where the game was held, who sold concessions to add a little extra cash to the charity coffers. Together, they raised $396 for the cause.
"We always try to get the kids involved in as many community events as possible to give them the experience," said Nicole Slack, program director.

Staff members also get involved with community events to serve as examples to the youngsters, she said.
At least 30 club members were on hand at Tuesday's basketball game, selling tickets, cooking food and hawking concessions.
Tyler Goodman, 9, carried a handmade sign advertising the hot dogs, nachos and other munchies available as he walked along the sidelines of the basketball court. Sales were brisk, he said. Within 15 minutes of the start of the game, club members already had sold half of the 98 hot dogs they had prepared for the evening.
"The kids helped us out so much that all I had to do today was show up," said Jennifer Collette, a South Haven firefighter who organized the event. "The kids really have done so much."
The bleachers were filled with fans cheering the players who played four eight-minute quarters with a 20-minute halftime that featured an appearance by Sparky the Fire Dog, a costumed mascot for the fire department. The All-Star Angels cheer squad performed a halftime show. Firefighters handed out plastic firefighter hats, and the deputies passed out police badges to the youngsters.
Although the firefighters had a deeper bench, with 11 players compared to the sheriff's department's six, the deputies took an early lead and didn't let it go. The final score was 70-32 in the deputies' favor.
"They beat us to death," Fire Chief Doug Patton said.
Being the underdogs didn't lessen the fan support. Morgan Eastridge, 12, whose father, Craig Morris, is South Haven Fire Department's assistant chief of operations, held a sign cheering for her favorite firefighters to win.
"We want them to win, and we need money for Relay for Life," said Kelsie Patton, 12, Patton's daughter. "We've been practicing a long time, and we know our guys."
The deputies went home with a traveling trophy for their win over the firefighters, but Patton said he's hopeful his department will win it back in future match-ups. The departments have agreed to host similar events throughout the year to raise money for various charities, he said.
"Maybe we can get our trophy back," he said.


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