It’s Guns versus Hoses|Fundraiser will benefit Eagle’s Wings

Published 5:58 am Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Community Editor

’Tis the season for giving, and in that tradition Eagle’s Wings is looking to boost donations for this year’s Guns versus Hoses charity basketball game between the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS-Inspections Department and Washington Police Department.
The third-annual game, formerly called Blue Lights versus Red Lights, will tip-off at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 inside Washington High School’s gymnasium.
Eagle’s Wings is, in essence, starting a sponsorship drive for the event to increase donations to the food pantry during the holiday season. The food pantry is asking individuals and businesses to sponsor the life-protecting agency of their choice.
Debbie Adams, executive director of Eagle’s Wings, said the fundraising drive will be done in the same spirit as Dancing With OUR Stars, in which dance teams competed to raise money for the food pantry. The basketball team that brings in the most donations for Eagle’s Wings will win the drive and be recognized following the Guns vs. Hoses game.
Adams said the need for the drive is great, considering that contributions to the food pantry are down.
“Things are really tight,” she said, referring to Eagle’s Wings’ budget. “There is definitely a need there.”
In its first year, the event raised thousands of dollars for the food pantry, thanks, in part, to sponsorship donations. Many of those same businesses dropped their sponsorships last year amid the heightened economic crisis, which in turn cut proceeds from the event almost in half, according to Adams.
The food pantry still received $3,514 in donations and 233 pounds of food from last year’s event, with many of the donations coming from individuals attending the game.
Adams said she got the idea for the drive, in part, from Austin Thomas.
“He kind of gave me the idea,” she said.
Thomas, who owns Fitness Unlimited and is a member of the Hoses team, started a sponsorship drive of his own before last year’s game. He found five sponsors that pledged to donate up to $20 each for every point he scored, with a cap of $300. He scored 20-plus points in the game and raised $1,000 for the food pantry by himself.
Thomas said he would do something similar to raise money this year.
To make a donation to Eagle’s Wings to support either the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS-Inspections Department team or the Washington Police Department team, call 975-1138 or stop by the food pantry at 932 W. Third St., Washington.