First responders hit home run for CHaD kids!

LEBANON, N.H. - On a beautiful Friday evening, a dedicated group of first responders hit the field at Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester in support of patients and critical programs at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD). The tenth CHaD Battle of the Badges on Aug. 20 saw Team Police beat Team Fire, 11-5, while the event raised over $111,000.

The annual game capped off a summer of outstanding fundraising efforts by the police officers and firefighters who comprised the rosters. As a group, nearly fifty players combined to generate just over $89,000 with their individual fundraising. Team Police just edged out a fundraising victory, squeezing by Fire by a $2,200 margin. Ed Shaughnessy (Bradford/Sunapee Police) led Police by raising $6,240. He was followed by Fire’s Cam Covert (Hudson Fire), who collected over $3,700 in his first year playing in the game.

Generous corporate partners once again played a huge role in fundraising for the game. Pinnacle Mortgage Corp. and Compass Title & Closing marked their CHaD Baseball debuts as joint presenting partners. Long-time CHaD supporter AutoFair supported Team Fire while Brothers Before Others served as presenting partners for their law enforcement brethren. Dozens of CHaD patients enjoyed the game courtesy of Eastern Propane & Oil while over 1,400 total fans took in a thunderous fireworks show after the game thanks to Oliver Mechanical, Inc.

“Pinnacle Mortgage has a long history of supporting our community, in particular children’s charities like CHaD, and our First Responders, and we are proud to continue supporting both of those groups through this great event,” said Kurt Strandson, president of Pinnacle Mortgage.

Eastern Propane & Oil supported this year’s CHaD Buddy program, providing access to the CHaD kids and families who rely on the programs the game supports. Additional partners included Oliver Mechanical, Inc., which presented the post-game fireworks show, and Service Credit Union, which provided ThunderStix to the first 250 fans.

Over 40 volunteers contributed to the event’s success, providing support in ticket sales, gatekeeping, raffles, and the popular Teddy Bear clinic. The pre-game show feature a performance by the Westford Firefighters Pipes and Drums band. Manchester Fire provided the honor guard for the national anthem, sung beautifully by Alycia Leriche.

The action on the field was back and forth throughout before Police pulled away in the eighth inning for their fourth straight victory in the series. Garrett Jewell (Merrimack County Department of Corrections) started and earned the win for Police with three scoreless innings. The Police were bookended by a solid relief outing by Cam Blewitt (Claremont Police Department), closing out the final innings. Dylan Bissonnette (New Hampshire Department of Corrections) delivered the key hit a triple in the eighth-inning rally.

Fire made multiple comeback attempts sparked by a pair of big hits from Jabe Felch (Seabrook Fire) and Nick Makris (Manchester Fire). Two additional Manchester Fire players Rich Racine and Ryan Boudreau added a clutch hit and a key pitching performance, respectively.

Police now leads the series 7-3.

Photos of the game will be posted shortly to the Battle of the Badges Facebook page.