SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – An athletic and philanthropic match-up took place at Independence Stadium on Tuesday evening during the second annual Turkey Bowl.
Touchdowns tossed to replace the cash that was once tossed into a firemen’s boots.
“We used to stand out on the streets at intersections and we called it “Fill The Boot”. Since we’ve been taken out of the streets for a couple of years now, we have to come up with different ways to fill that boot,” said Assistant Shreveport Fire Chief Clarence Reece. “And this is one of those fundraisers.”
“Oh man this is a tremendous cause,” added Deputy Chief Antoine White of the Shreveport Police Department.
Over the last 10 years, the Shreveport Fire Department has raised more than $315,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The game pits Shreveport Fire versus Shreveport Police in a somewhat friendly game of flag football.
“We’re gonna have bragging rights at the end of this,” said Deputy Chief White. “Because we are going to win of course. Again. For the second year in a row.”
“We are very competitive. And talk a lot of noise towards one another,” said Assistant Chief Reece. “Football, basketball, baseball. I’ll shoot jacks against them if we need to.”
And while the competitive juices flowed, when the final whistle blew everyone was on the same team.
“We are Brothers in Blue. First responders have a bond that we have that cannot be explained,” said White.
“We’re very fortunate in the city of Shreveport. In some cities, police and fire don’t get along, but we love each other here,” added Reece.
Both sides say it is a chance for them to show the community the uniforms they wear each day are only a part of who they are as people.
“This is one way that we break that barrier,” said Reece. “You want the public to come out and see us just having fun.”
“We’re regular everyday people just like they are,” said White. “We are mothers, brothers, fathers. We just want the public to know that we are part of the community. We are invested in the community. And this is just an opportunity for us to show that.”
The game went to overtime and ended in a tie.
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