Hewitt Public Safety is hosting a dodgeball tournament on Saturday, June 24 to benefit a local nonprofit organization that helps families of first responders.
The Dodging for Dollars Charity tournament will raise funds for the 100 Club of the Heart of Texas, which gives financial assistance to families of first responders who died in the line of duty.
"There is a real necessity to raise funds for this group. It specifically hits us at home here at the police and fire department, they would take care of us if a tragedy or critical incident would take place," Hewitt Police Chief James Devlin said.
The group helps pays for funeral expenses, relieve mortgages or other debt and covers educational expenses for the families of the fallen first responders.
"We need to stand with our officers and firefighters in their time of need just as they stand in our time of need. It's community standing for community," 100 Club of the Heart of Texas Executive Director Sandy Pechacek said.
The last time the group helped families in McLennan County was during the West Fertilizer Explosion in 2013.
West Police Chief Darryl Barton said he knew all the firefighters who lost their lives and two of them were his close friends, including Morris Bridges.
The firefighter who had been with the department for at least two years left behind two children. Brent who is now 23 and recently graduated from the fire academy, has been living with him since the tragedy.
"We considered Brent and Brittney both as niece and nephew," Barton said. "We were that close so it wasn't a second thought needed a place today that we provided him a place to stay."
He said the families of the fallen received help from local organizations like the 100 Club of the Heart of Texas.
"I do know how extremely grateful thy were for the outpouring of love from organizations like the 100 club," Barton said.
The nonprofit organization offers assistance throughout the lives of the families of officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty with a limit of $25,000 per fallen first responder.
It will take place at the Midway Middle School from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Several law enforcement agencies are expected to be part of the tournament.
"It's a great event for the community to come out, for them to participate. You have police and firemen from McLennan County that are playing with civilians," Devlin said.
This is the second year Hewitt Public Safety has hosted the event but the first time it will benefit this group.
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