It’s been a Mound Fire and Orono Police Department tradition for years, and this year it’s getting new life thanks to Orono Police Deputy Chris Fischer and the Spirit of the Lakes Festival. The second annual Guns vs. Hoses charity softball game will take place on Wednesday, July 19 at WRA Park in Minnetrista.
Last year was the first time the annual softball outing was open to the public as a charity event. Attendees were asked to bring donations for the Western Communities Action Network (WeCAN). The departments are again asking for both non perishable food and monetary donations this time around.
This year, however, there are new ways to help the charity organization that Fischer thinks might be a little more fun.
“We’ve got a dunk tank this year,” Fischer said. “It’ll probably be about $1 for three balls. We’ve got Westonka Superintendent Kevin Borg, Orono Police Chief Correy Farniok and Mound City Administrator Eric Hoversten signed up to be in the tank.”
The dunk tank will be going on during the game, and between throws, families can enjoy free face painting and bounce house that will be on site. There will also be photo opportunities with police cars, fire trucks and the fire and police mascots throughout the game.
Before the game begins, the annual Spirit of the Lakes kiddie parade will be taking place at WRA Park at 6 p.m. All families are welcome to attend and stay for the game afterwards, which starts at 7 p.m.
“It’s really becoming a more family friendly event,” Fire Chief Greg Pederson said.
Fischer said he sees the game as a way for people to get to know their local law enforce ment and see them as community members.
“This is a small town community,” Fischer said. “It’s important to get to know one another. The better our relationships with the public, the better job we can do for them.”
Last year, the Mound Fire Department took the game by a score of 21-2. This year, Fire Chief Greg Pederson said his firefighters are ready to take back to back titles, but Fischer said it’s all just for fun.