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Two teams, one purpose

Featured in the photo are Red Wing Fire Department and Red Wing police. Photo by Gina Rippentrop.

The annual Guns vs. Hoses event has arrived again and it's time to get ready for softball, fundraising and a whole new list of family friendly events.

On Thursday, Aug. 10, Red Wing firefighters and Red Wing police will play ball under the lights for United Way — and of course, bragging rights. The event is $5 with first pitch at 7 p.m. at Athletic Field.

"This event is very important to United Way," said Executive Director, Maureen Nelson. "Last year the Packing for the Weekend program provided over 45,000 missing meals to children living with food insecurity. Although we receive food donations it is not nearly enough to cover all of those meals."

This year, 45 percent of Red Wing students were enrolled in free-and-reduced meal programs. Packing for the Weekend prepares and distributes simple weekend meals to ensure no kid goes hungry. All proceeds from the ballgame benefit United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha and Pierce Counties and the Packing for the Weekend program. Guns vs. Hoses, along with Salsalicious held at the end of the year, both play a large role in helping bringing food to families.

With a goal of raising $7,500 this year, up $1,500 from last year, United Way has organized a list of new events, including between-innings contests.

More than 40 volunteers have signed up to help make this possible. Local businesses also have sponsored the event for new games and prizes to help amp up the fun.

"There will be new between inning events, more audience participation, a premier seating section, great food and lots of prizes," Nelson said.

Contests between innings:

• Starting at 7 p.m., between first and second innings, couples can sign up to win a Sturdiwheat gift basket. One person will be flipping pancakes while the other one catches. Those who catch the most win.

• During the third inning is the Hoola Hooping Contest sponsored by Xcel Energy. All ages are welcome to compete.

• The fifth inning will be the pizza dash for two boys and two girls ages 7-10. Children will round the bases and pick up pizza boxes. First one to finish wins free pizzas from Godfather's Pizza.

• Scheduled for the seventh/eighth-inning stretch, adults are welcome to sign up for the Red Wing Shoe Co. Boot Kicking contest. Participants will line up wearing old Red Wing boots and whoever kicks the boot the farthest wins a $100 gift certificate to Red Wing Shoes.

Attendees also can sign up for VIP seating sponsored by BIC Graphic. For $30, this includes a stadium seat in VIP section, personal waiter, hot dog, soda, popcorn, fireplace raffle ticket and a BIC gift bag.

"This is not something the United Way could ever do alone and we are so appreciative of the city of Red Wing, it's employees and residents who make this happen," Nelson said.

A little friendly competition has Red Wing firefighter Ron McRae ready for his third year of Guns vs. Hoses.

"The thing I enjoy most about Guns vs. Hoses is being able to raise money for a great cause while sharing in some friendly competition with our brothers and sisters in blue," McRae said.

"We are excited for the opportunity to play under the lights this year and are poised to bring the plaque back to its home in the firehouse kitchen."

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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