by Jody Spear ad Kelly Meyer –
MASON CITY – It was standing room only for the Third Annual Battle of the Badges charity event, held Saturday night at the North Iowa Events Center.
Fire Fighters and Police Officers got together to play hockey to raise money for Make-A-Wish of North Iowa. As tickets were only $5.00 and kids 5 and under free, it’s no wonder it was a great family event for many people and a great charity to get involved in.
In addition to a thrilling hockey game, there were all kinds of things going on: A silent auction, a marriage proposal, donuts presented to the Police Department by the Fire Department, chuck-a-puck, heads or tails contest for the kids, jersey auctions, donation presentations and much more.
Before the National Anthem, it was announced that a Fire Fighter had something to do. Schuyler Townsend surprised his girlfriend, Kalie Freeborn of Rochester, Minnesota, by getting on one knee and asking her to marry him on the red carpet that she had just rolled out. A totally shocked Freeborn said “Yes.”
Although the police department once again scored more, both teams had fun. There was also some tempers that slightly came out, as a few players hit the floor.
There were many children getting involved in planned activities as well as cheering on their favorite team. The children are the ones that benefit, with all proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Iowa. “Go Fire Fighters,” yelled one group of kids holding signs to show their support. Other children would go by the police officers’ bench and Matt Klunder would give them a high five. Everyone was there to have fun.
The Make A Wish of Iowa Facebook slogan is, “We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”
According to the program at the game, to date, the Iowa Chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation has fulfilled more than 2,300 wishes, including trips to Disney World, New York and the Datona 500; gifts of computers, stereos and shopping sprees; and opportunities to meet celebrities like singing superstar Celine Dion, NASCAR Drivers Jeff Gordon and Bobby LaBonte and actor Jim Carrey. The foundation serves children in all 99 counties of Iowa.