Marshfield Police Department and Special Olympics Face Off for a Good Cause
On Friday, April 21, the Marshfield Police Department will once again face off against Marshfield Special Olympics in a friendly game of basketball. Hoping to finally end their losing streak in this annual basketball face-off, officers have been taking to social media to begin a goodnatured pre-game rally.
“Watch out Olympiads…Our wounds have healed, the band-aids are gone, and we hope you’re ready for a full-sized serving of revenge!!!” wrote the MPD on their Facebook page.
The men and women in blue are asking the community to come out and support this great family event and Special Olympics fundraiser at the Marshfield High School Field House.
“I think it’s a great fundraiser for the community,” said Police Chief Rick Gramza. “We want our officers to be more connected to the community. Special Olympics and law enforcement have teamed up for years. Whether it’s ‘Cop on a Rooftop’, Polar Plunge, Torch Run, or events like this, it’s good for the community, law enforcement, and Special Olympics athletes.”
Though the Police Department continues to lose, they are excited to try and redeem themselves this year.
“We prefer to think we’re all winners,” said Assistant Chief Pat Zeps. “Unfortunately, they have a deeper bench.”
“I think we’re losing because they show up with more people,” said Gramza. “I think the refs are paid. I think there is some favoritism.”
All jokes aside, Gramza enjoys participating in this fun event for a great cause, and he enjoys involving community spectators.
“We try to get the crowd involved,” said Gramza. “For example, there are times where if we get fouled, we’ll pick people from audience to come shoot our free throws for us.”
Funds raised at the event help the athletes in the Special Olympics agency to secure locations to practice, help pay for busing to state competitions, and fund meals and housing while at competitions, as well as any uniforms needed.
“Special Olympics not only keeps our athletes physically fit, but gives them an opportunity to gain self confidence, learn perseverance, feel a sense of achievement, and experience friendship, which in turn enhances every aspect of their lives,” said Randy Follen, Agency Manager for Marshfield Area Special Olympics.
The Marshfield Area Special Olympics is currently serving 70 individuals with cognitive disabilities in the community. In Marshfield, they offer year-round competition and training for athletes, constantly working with athletes so that they can participate in such sports as bowling, basketball, swimming, bocce ball, powerlifting, flag football, track, and softball.
“This is an event where everyone has fun, even the participants,” said Follen. “People should come out and watch our athletes showcase their talents and abilities.”
The agency has eight athletes making the basketball skills state competition, which will be held March 25th at Neenah High School. They also have one team that has qualified for sectional competition, with the possibility to qualify for state competition. Sectionals were held at UW Stevens Point on March 19th and state will be held at UW-Oshkosh on April 7th and 8th.
“This is the only way our athletes have the chance to show the community what they have accomplished throughout the year, said Follen, adding that all funds stay local.
“Any money raised during the game will 100% stay with the Marshfield agency and will be spent in Marshfield,” he said.
Additionally, Marshfield Professional Police Association matches all funds raised.
Marshfield Police Department vs Marshfield Special Olympics
Friday, April 21, 2017, starting at 7:00pm
Marshfield High School Field House