MOUNT CARMEL — Mount Carmel Grade School will be the site of the 15th Annual Guns’N’Hoses Basketball Games Sunday, as teams of community members compete for various prizes and accolades.

There will be multiple games played, not only by members of area police and fire departments, but also between two teams of grocery store representatives and two church-member teams.

City Commissioner and Fire Department representative Rod Rodriguez explained that the event is not only meant to be fun for participants and spectators, but also provides funding to a good cause within the community, The Sheriff Office’s Guardian Center, which provides resources to children in bad situations, including abuse.

“Since we have an organization here, this money will stay here for them to go ahead and spend the money the way it needs to be spent to help these kids,” Rodriguez said.

The event generally brings in between $1,200 and $1,600 each year, he added.

Members of Community Church of God and First Baptist Church will play in the first game, slated for a 1 p.m. start time, followed by representatives of Browiak’s IGA and Buehler’s Buy-Low. That match-up has more of a direct incentive, though, as Rodriguez explains.

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Three prizes totaling $500 will be raffled at the event and the winning grocery store will be the destination for those raffle winners. Rodriguez said he would be selling raffle tickets Saturday, March 9, at Buehler’s Buy-Low from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased at the game and the winning raffle tickets will be announced at halftime of the Guns’N’Hoses game.

“They always try really hard because they want the money back in the store,” Rodriguez explained.

Lastly, personnel from Mount Carmel Police Department and the Wabash County Sheriff’s Office, representing the “Guns” side of the event, will face off against members of Mount Carmel, Allendale and Bellmont fire departments.

Rodriguez said all three games do get competitive, but remain fun. If they don’t, he has a penalty box ready for them.

“If anyone shoves anyone or says anything they shouldn’t be saying, they go to the penalty box,” he explained, adding that it’s just for a short few minutes.

To thwart anyone becoming too competitive for the spirit of the fundraiser, Rodriguez does remind referees at the beginning of the day that the event is a fundraiser and it should be fun.

Even though the day is intended to be fun and that’s reason enough to attend, he stressed the importance of participating for the kids that will be helped as a result.

“Support the kids by going out and showing that you care because the money is going to them,” he said, “these kids need that love and support.”

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