First responders are usually associated with fighting crime and fires. Once a year in the Tri-State, they take their fighting to the ring in front of thousands of people, and all for a good cause.
Since 2008, the men and women of Tri-State law enforcement departments and fire and rescue squads square off in a boxing exhibition to raise money for 911 Gives Hope, which funds charity initiatives including raising awareness for Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), a genetic condition affecting appetite and physical development.
The event returned last year after being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event, Guns & Hoses XIV, on April 9 at the Ford Center will include 15 one-on-one fights between the Tri-State’s finest and bravest, such as Newburgh volunteer firefighter Dawn Morand.
Morand is back for her second fight in Guns and Hoses. She lost last year to Johanna Carney from the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, but says she is excited to get back into the ring this year to face Stacy Shirley from the Evansville Police Department.
“I’m hoping to come out with a win this year,” says Morand, a member of the Newburgh, Indiana, Volunteer Fire Department and co-owner of Bud’s Harley-Davidson. “I had a really tough match last year.”
Morand says she has done kickboxing for several years but has actively trained for boxing fights for the last year and a half. Her match with Shirley is about halfway through the event.
Each fight is three rounds, and the team with the most wins at the end of the night will take home the Guns and Hoses championship belt. To date, the event has raised nearly $2 million for charity.
“There’s so much energy at that event, from (the) opening ceremony to the camaraderie between all of the fighters,” says Morand. “Everyone, whether you are there for the ‘guns’ or for the ‘hoses,’ is there for the same reason. We all want to win, but we’re all there to raise money for the organization.”
Photo provided by the Ford Center.