FREEPORT, Fla. (WMBB) — First responders around the Panhandle hosted a softball tournament on Saturday in Walton County. Proceeds from the tournament will be used to sponsor first responders injured on the job, as well as local communities.
“We raise on average $5-$10,000 a year,” Tournament organizer Josh Pitts said. “I would easily say that over $100,000 has been raised over the last 10 years.”
This year the Guns and Hoses tournament decided to allow other first responders, like the police officers. Military members were also able to join the competition.
Six teams competed in a round-robin. After a champion was crowned, a homerun derby took place as an additional fundraiser.
“It’s just like middle school kickball like you loved playing against your buddies because you always want to challenge each other, see who can do better, Dalton Reid, a member of Florida Reloaded said. “And just like taunt each other and have fun.”
The tournament began at 9 a.m. Saturday and lasted until 4 p.m. at the Freeport Regional Sports Complex. The teams were mainly mixtures of firefighters, police officers, and military members. However, people who simply wanted to show support to first responders were eligible to play as well.
“This started out as kind of a way to raise money for one of our guys who had a career-ending injury,” Pitts said. “And it slowly turned into a way for us to kind of give back to our community.”