PUNXSUTAWNEY — It will be the battle of public safety forces as the Punxsutawney Fire Department and Punxsutawney Borough Police will come together on the hard court at the Punxsutawney Area Community Center (PACC) tonight.
The firefighters and police officers will face off in the PACC gymnasium to raise money for Betty's Angels — a Relay For Life team.
Melissa McAfoos, who organized the event, is literally in the middle, as she's a member of the Elk Run Volunteer Fire Department and is a dispatcher for the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department.
McAfoos said she told Punxsutawney Mayor Richard Alexander that the organizers are looking for everyone to play a nice, clean game.
"The participants need to be able to work with each other when Monday morning comes along, so everyone has to remember that it’s to help with the fight against cancer," she said. "Actually, both sides are always willing to help out with fundraisers any way that they can when asked."
She said that Betty's Angels is always trying to get the community involved in raising money for the American Cancer Society.
"We have a lot of guys on our team who are very sports-oriented. We did a bowling tournament and a 5K race last year and plan on doing it again this year," McAfoos said, adding that she was looking for a way to incorporate other volunteer organizations in the community.
McAfoos said the basketball court is the place for the police and firefighters to let loose a little and have some fun, all while being competitive.
"Between the two departments, with one being volunteer and the other being paid, we have approximately 30 players, which should make for an entertaining event," she said. "I'm sure there's going to be bragging rights for the winner."
McAfoos said that Mayor Alexander will be coaching the Police Department team.
She also said Cheer Force will be performing at halftime.
"We want to showcase them, because they are new, and get their name out in the community," she said.
McAfoos said that there will be a silent auction, and Mike Gigliotti will do the announcing, while the community center is taking care of the refreshments.
She said that applications for the fire department will be available before and after the game.
Tickets are available at the door at a cost of $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. Children under age 5 will be admitted for free.
The doors open at 6:15 p.m. tonight, with the tip off at 7 p.m.