Police, fire to square off for charity

The Springfield Police Division will take on the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division on the basketball court as part of a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The first Light the Night Police vs. Fire Charity Basketball Event will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Clark State Community College gymnasium, 570 E. Leffel Lane.

Donations will be accepted for admission at the door. The family-centered event will also feature a raffle and a free throw contest. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the game will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Heather Davenport, a Springfield resident and leukemia survivor who’s been in remission for six months, said she’s on a team to raise money for the Light the Night Walk to benefit the LSS of Central Ohio. She was thinking of different ways to get the community involved and decided to have her husband, James Davenport, a police officer, offer a challenge to the fire division in the form of a basketball game.

“I thought it would be neat to get that rivalry going,” Heather Davenport said. “We wanted to find a way to get the community involved.”

Heather Davenport said Officer Allison Bennett, a former Kenton Ridge High School student who played collegiate basketball at the University at Buffalo , will serve as the captain of the police team, while former Kenton Ridge baseball player Cody Gleason will captain the fire team.

Fire/Rescue Chief Nick Heimlich said he hopes the game is competitive, but injury free.

“We don’t mind damaging egos, but we hope everything else stays in tact,” Heimlich said.

He’s also expecting a low-scoring game played near the basket.

“There’s going to be a lot of inside shots,” Heimlich joked. “There will probably be one or two show-boaters shooting 3-pointers, but I wouldn’t rely on accuracy at this point.”

About 650 people participated in the walk last year, which raised nearly $83,400 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Central Ohio.

The third annual walk will be held on Sept. 21 at Clark State Community College.

Program Director Michelle Burris said the walk has generated more money each year.

“We’re looking to continue our growth,” Burris said.

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