Evanston police and firemen square off in charity dodgeball tournament

Rachel Janik

The Evanston Police Department and the Evanston Fire Department faced off Sunday in a charity dodgeball tournament.

About 20 people participated in the annual “Guns vs. Hoses Dodgeball Event at the Chandler-Newberger Center, 1028 Central St. Participants raised money to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.

“What’s more fun than watching a bunch of grown men trying to take each other’s heads off with a rubber ball?” said Detective Grace Carmichael, an event organizer.

Funds raised from the event will benefit Evanston, said Officer Heidi Bernhardt, co-chair for the EPD’s Special Olympic events.

“It gets allocated for the kids with special needs who are a part of Special Olympics in our community,” Bernhardt said. “So it’s really important that we be involved.”

Bernhardt said the “Guns vs. Hoses” events foster friendly competitions between the departments through a variety of sports, including basketball and softball.

“We just have this longstanding, good, competitive rivalry with the fire department,” she said. “But really, we work with the men and women of the fire department on the street every day.”

Two firefighters attended the game, and police officers joined their team in order even up the numbers. Despite their enthusiasm for the competition, the players lost count of the score after more than 10 rounds of dodgeball.

Evanston’s Special Olympics athletes Courtney Larimer and Caroline Colianne attended the tournament. Colianne refereed the first few games, but the two joined in by the end of the tournament.

“I think it’s fun just going out there, making new friends and meeting new people,” Colianne said.

[email protected]