COLUMBIA - Columbia police officers and firefighters put their basketball skills to the test in the first "Badges and Hoses" game at the D-Line Sports Center Thursday night.
The MU Greek Programming Board hosted the event in an effort to raise money for the Heart of Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross. All spectators paid a $3 admission fee at the door and donation cans were placed in the gym.
Columbia Firefighter Ryan Adams competed in Thursday night's game. He said many of his teammates play basketball on a regular basis, but the department's "Badges and Hoses" team never held any practices. He said playing the police department encourages friendly competition.
"We didn't have our best showing the last time we played so we're hoping to show a little bit better this time," Adams said. "Rumor is they've been practicing the last three or four weeks it sounds like, so it should be a good game. It's always good fun for us to get out and play against each other and have some good times other than what we do at work."
Sgt. Joe Bernhard said the police department's team started practicing a month in advance to get an edge on the competition.
"It's friendly competition but we both do want to win," Bernhard said. "It is a little bit of a friendly rivalry, so it can get a little tense at times and they do play hard. I think we're going to win of course."
This is the first year the "Badges and Hoses" game has ever taken place, but the Head of the Greek Programming Board Sam Bosacki said he hopes it will become an annual event.
"We are hoping that this will become an annual event, but we are just kind of excited to see how it goes," Bosacki said.
The Heart of Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross will use the funds to assist with services they provide to community members, particularly disaster relief for local families.
"Everything that the Red Cross provides is through the generosity of our donors," American Red Cross Community Market Manager Clayton Kennedy said. "So this is a way to share our mission and bring in some financial support for our local families and our local services."
Kennedy said there is no monetary goal for the event since this is the first year it's been held.
The firefighters beat the police officers, 55-54.