KENNEWICK, Wash. - A little friendly competition this week will go a long way toward making sure some local families get help this holiday season. For the 7th year in a row, Kennewick police officers will be challenging Kennewick firefighters to a charity basketball game.
100% of the donations raised during the match-up go back into the community, with both agencies doing their own special things to help families in need.
"The more money we gather from the charity basketball game, the more money we have to put back into the charity," said Kennewick Firefighter Brian Carter.
Last year, Kennewick Firefighters helped 7 families during the holiday season, including the Pocasangres.
"All of December and the majority of November we were not home. We were at Seattle Children's Hospital with my daughter," Cynthia Pocasangre said.
7 year-old Emilia is battling cancer. Her parents say between all her treatments, there wasn't enough time to shop for presents. But, the fire department showed up with some holiday cheer.
"They made a difference. We saw a smile on Emilia and my family when they came with all those gifts. It was such an exciting moment for all of us," Cynthia said
Firefighter Brian Carter visits local organizations to find families in need, like the Pocasangres. Then they wait to see how much money they raise, to determine how many people they can help.
"Firefighters buy the presents, buy utilities, pay some bills, we buy care packages and hand them out to elderly people," Carter said.
And this year, they're hoping more people than ever will show up to cheer them on and help their neighbors.
The basketball game is Wednesday, December 5th at 7 p.m. at the Kennewick High School gym. People can get in by just making a donation. There will also be a raffle and door prizes.
There is also an account set up at Hapo under Police Vs. Fire Charity Basketball Game for donations.