Annual Guns N’ Hoses event races into fifth year
By Joe Bachman
PLOVER — No matter what side of the law enforcement/firefighter rivalry you take, the winners out of the annual Guns N’ Hoses event will always be local veterans.
Gearing up for its fifth year, the annual fundraising event Guns N’ Hoses will hit the race track at Golden Sands Speedway on July 13. Like previous years, the gathering will see thousands on hand to cheer on their favorite local firefighters and police officers as they continue their light-hearted rivalry for a good cause. Facing off will be teams made up of local law enforcement taking on local firefighters.
While softball is off the table this year as plans are to transition to a spring 2019 game, the message remains the same — help support your local veterans.
Money raised from the event will go towards various veterans causes, including the Ageless Aviation Dream Flight, the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, the Portage County Veterans Relief Fund, and local sportsmen clubs for veterans’ hunts.
Five racers from each side will be pitted against each other, and while this event is for charity, our local firemen and law enforcement are – to say the least – competitive.
“It gets real crazy — there’s a lot of trash-talk between the departments,” joked Sheriff Mike Lukas, who happily pointed out his first-place finish in last year’s race. “We have a lot of fun — our sole goal is for the veterans, and we have fun with it because there’s always that fun animosity and ribbing between the fire and police departments.”
The event will include a 50/50 raffle, donation buckets, and visits from veterans in Wisconsin Veterans Home in King.
“The goal is to get people out and to get people to understand that there is a need for the veterans in the community, and to have some fun and donate some money,” said Lukas. “A lot of businesses have contributed every year. It’s amazing support for our local veterans.”
To date, the event has raised approximately $137,000 since 2014. The goal this year is set at $25,000, which shouldn’t be much of an issue to exceed. According to Co-chair Traci Tauferner, police and fire are not just excited for the event for the fun it will bring, but more importantly, having the opportunity to honor those who served.
“They are very excited for this year’s event, and I think it’s because they have an opportunity to serve those who served them,” said Tauferner. “Giving back is huge, and our whole theme this year is ‘honoring those who serve’, and honoring our veterans. For some of those veterans this is their welcome home that they never got.”
You can catch this event at Golden Sands Speedway, 10992 Highway 54 on the county line. A kids event will kick off at 7:00 p.m. with opening ceremonies beginning at 7:45 p.m. Racing will follow at 8:00 p.m. Admission for veterans is free.
You can also make donations to anyone of local law enforcement or fire departments in the area, including the Stevens Point Police Department, Stevens Point Fire Department, Plover Police Department, and Plover Fire Department.