Stanley: Annual Guns and Hoses becomes family event
August 23, 2012 9:00PM
The Joliet Police Department wives softball team includes Karen Kapsch (from left), Michele O'Boyle, Ashley D'Arcy, Alli Anderson, Traci Kurbis Dupuis, Jody Lakota, Sue Reilly and Jill Vironda. | submitted photo
Updated: September 25, 2012 10:44AM
The Joliet fire and police departments have decided to make it a family feud this year.
And invite some friends as well.
Since 2003, Guns and Hoses has featured the city’s first responders playing baseball at Silver Cross Field to benefit Easter Seals.
The charity remains the same, but the game now is a two-day softball tournament that’s moved to St. Joe’s Park, 1500 N. Raynor Ave.
Besides Joliet, the Will County Sheriff’s police, Romeoville police and Lockport Township firefighters also will have teams playing.
“And hopefully will have a different result from our game against the firefighters, which we lose every time,” Police Officer Patrick Schumacher said.
Technically, one game ended in a tie, but the cops have never had a victory celebration and felt there was nothing to lose in changing the format.
Games begin at 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. Admission is free. Besides food and beer there will be children’s entertainment and live bands, with Hairbanger’s Ball headlining Sunday night.
But while police officers and firefighters worked together to set up the event, they will only be witnesses at the ultimate contest for municipal bragging rights — seeing whose married to the better softball players.
“They have as much of a rivalry as we do,” Firefighter Eric Mattson warned.
The Police Wives Organization challenged the Fire Wives Organization on their own before Fire Wife Lynette Hunter suggested including it in the charity event.
The Wives Game, which is sponsored by D’Arcy Motors, begins at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Hunter, who’ll serve as a manager, admitted few of the fire wives have softball experience.
“But I think it’ll be a fun exhibition. It’s something different and either way Easter Seals gets the benefit,” she said.
Traci Dupuis, of the Joliet Police Wives, was equally respectful of her opponent, but seemed a little more agressive.
“I’ve been playing softball for 25 years so they put me in charge of this,” she said. “I’m a good sport, but very competitive. Everybody (on this team) wants to win.”
Dupuis had “no worries” following practices this week. Even that those who protect and serve need their significant others to win an athletic competition.
“The men have been completely supportive of us,” Dupuis said. “They said ‘Go get ‘em.’”