Firemen and Policemen Battle at Upchurch Field

Image: Chief Donald Chambers goes over the batting order with the team members.

Chief Donald Chambers goes over the batting order with the team members. (Anne Sutherland)

The skies may have surprised everyone with a little rain and thunder but the weather did not stop any fireworks or competition on the field. Guns & Hoses, a local fundraiser, arrived in Italy on Saturday night with all the bells and whistles and there was fun for everyone—all for a good cause, Shop With A Cop.

Not quite a full battle, the local fire and police department organized a softball game utilizing local members and enjoyed competition from the two groups. With homemade spirit sticks and matching t-shirts, the teams gathered on the field and proceeded with pitches, hits, grounders and slides, followed by a fabulous fireworks show.

The combined team from the “Guns” and the “Hoses” played a second game against “The Street Gang”, which included employees from the water department, friends and families. Afterwards, raffle winners, Ella Hudson and Preston Turbeville, rode into the night with their new bikes, donated by Albert Garcia.

Refreshments in the concession stand, t-shirt sales and donations were all for the good cause that helps people in need. Police Chief Diron Hill said, "We have had many compliments from citizens on how they loved the community coming together for a good cause. They said that the fireworks show was the best they have ever seen in Ellis County and the games were very entertaining.

We don’t have a total yet for how much we raised but based on the shirt sales and the concession stand, we believe it will be at least $2,500.00 – $3,000.00, maybe more. We will definitely make this an annual event and we hope to keep it the Saturday after July 4th each year. The spirit sticks will be used again next year and we hope to have a few more surprises as well."

Chief Hill said, “On behalf of the City of Italy and the Italy Police and Fire Departments, I would like to thank the community for their support and donations. We are grateful to have a community that truly cares. We hope to continue to have their support in the future.”

Shop With A Cop is a worthwhile program that includes our local police department and a few families who would not be celebrating as much around Christmas time, if wasn’t for our policemen and women.
The program was established to build positive relationships between police officers and the children of the community. Each child makes a list of family members and is helped by an officer in spending their gift card to buy presents for everyone in the family and some things for themselves. It is a very positive experience, not only for the kids that are involved, but also for the officers.

Call Officer T. Mooney or Officer D. Pitts at (972) 483-6414 ext 6, for more details.