Battle of the Badges slated for Saturday

A new event at the Lakeland Event Center in Calvert is aiming to bring together the county's first responders and families for some fun competition this weekend.

The Battle of the Badges event on June 1 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. will pit various first responders (law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMTs) against each other and against family teams. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children, which provides an armband with access to all games and activities, both inside and outside, for the duration of the event. All proceeds will be donated to the various first responder organizations.

Chelsy Solomon, Lakeland Event Center director, said one of the games planned for the first responders involves using the Jaws of Life to transport an egg while the family teams will use a spoon to transport a water balloon. She said there will also be continuous games, including a water balloon toss and potato sack races, as well as inflatables, including an inflatable obstacle course.

Inside, Solomon said a number of organizations will have booths set up with emergency-related information and demonstrations. Among the special guests is K9 Fox with his handler, Deputy Rowley Lofton with the Marshall County Sheriff's Office, for a meet-and-greet and demonstration of Fox's many talents.

Solomon said the idea for the event was sparked by a small trophy in her closet, which she earned when she was approximately 6-years-old and won the water balloon toss at a fundraising event at the Possum Trot Fire Dept.

"That was really fun for me and I remember doing that as a kid and I was wishing they still did something like that, but for all the responders who help us on a daily basis," she said. "But I wanted to open it up to everyone and just have a day to come together to compete and have fun. It's just a great way for the people in the community to meet their first responders and help learn as a community member how to respond to emergencies such as flooding. I hope it's an event that's beneficial and fun for community members and first responders, and that it's something we can do each year for many years to come."

Solomon said she's still accepting teams for the competition as well as organizations interested in setting up a booth. She said those interested in coming for the fun aren't required to form a team to compete, they may just bring the kids for a day of fun as well.

More information and sign-up sheets are available on the Lakeland Event Center's website and Facebook page, or by calling 270-906-0166. The event center is located at 4900 US Hwy. 62 in Calvert City.

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