“So last year, we kind of threw it together in about a month and a half and we weren’t really sure what to expect, and we raised $1,700 and we had over 200 people actually show up,” Hamann said. “This year we already surpassed that 17 hundred dollars and we’re anticipating three to four hundred people.”
“Our goal is to raise double what we raised last year, so double the number of people and double the amount of money,” Paulson said.
They went way beyond doubling last year’s $1,700. After all the raffle tickets were bought, and donations were counted – the game brought in $6,400 and had almost 400 people in attendance. Everyone involved is excited to see the donations go to a good cause.
“All the proceeds this year are going to benefit the Regions Hospital Burn Center, last year all the proceeds went to the Officer Down Memorial Page,” said Hamman.
The burn center at Regions Hospital sees 400 patients a year and treats burn victims from a 6 state area.
“Patients can come to us with a variety of different injuries, by far the most common type of injuries we see are thermal injuries, but we also see electrical injuries, chemical burns, frostbite is a big thing this winter for us,” said Mark Johnston, Burn Program Coordinator at Regions Hospital.
The burn center relies on donations efforts for several different needs but this particular donation will be going to a very special cause.
“We have a variety of needs on an ongoing basis, first and foremost probably is our camps, we send kids to camp Colorado and then we run our own family camp which is located up in Ely Minnesota,” Johnston said. “Those are both expensive operations, so we use a lot of our money that is raised to help pay for those and offset the cost.”
Johnston has experienced the joy of these camps first hand and knows the impact they make.
“Camps are near and dear to my heart, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to attend the camp that we send kids to in Colorado and to our family camp up in Ely the last four or five years, it’s truly a really neat experience for kids, they horseback ride, they rock climb, they just do a number of fun activities, it’s changed their lives to be at that camp,” he said.
Some of the police officers and firefighters taking part in the game had a chance to visit the burn center a few weeks ago and it gave this game a new meaning for them.
“It put things in a perspective because when you think about the burn center, you don’t think about some of the life stories you find out about, some of these things are pretty traumatizing events to anybody and kind of seeing an outside perspective kind of put things in a reality that this stuff does happen and there are real families and victims that are impacted by this,” Hamman said.
With the success and growth of the event this year this looks to be a new north metro tradition that will continue for many years to come. The police team won 8-3, but the real winners are the kids and families that will get some time at camp this summer thanks to the generosity of the community.