The Cuyahoga Falls fire and police departments are once again practicing their basketball moves. Our safety forces not only fight for our health and safety on a daily basis, but for the last eight years they have been battling each other for the coveted trophy and bragging rights that go along with winning the Battle of the Badges basketball game. The proceeds from the game are donated to the Falls Cancer Club.

This year’s game is sponsored by the CK Dream Team at RE/MAX Crossroads Realtors. Challi Kiefer and Kim Malin are the realtors who work to advocate for their real estate clients every day and support the efforts of the Falls Cancer Club.

As our neighbors, Challi and Kim believe B. DeAngelis who says that "Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them and they bless you, the giver."

Each year the game gets more intense and is a great way to spend a Friday night with family and friends. This year’s Battle of the Badges will be held on Friday, March 6 at the Woodridge High School gymnasium. Ticket prices are $5 for adults, $3 for ages 5-17, free for under 5, and has a maximum family price of $20.

The doors open at 6 p.m. with Home Depot offering free make-and-take projects for the kids. Tipoff is 7 p.m. The concession stand will have great food offerings and dinner meal deals before and during the game. During half time spectators will have an opportunity to come on the court for a free throw competition.

"It’s always a great event to be a part of," said Alex Cheronix, fire team captain. "The Falls Cancer Club is an incredible organization that does amazing things for the people of this community that are battling cancer. I know families that have been directly affected by what they do and it’s truly amazing.

"We’ve been able to grow the event and raise more money each year, which thankfully is the ultimate goal since we haven’t won the game in a few years. The PD will say it’s been five years or something, but they aren’t good at math so I don’t believe them. Hopefully we can bring the trophy back home this year. Everybody likes an underdog story right?"

The 2020 game has Western Reserve Hospital as the team sponsor for both the police and fire teams.

"Battle of the Badges is another way the men and women who protect us each day come together to support and take care of those in need within our community," said Dr. Robert Kent, president and CEO, Western Reserve Hospital. "We are excited to partner with the safety forces of Cuyahoga Falls for this important fundraising event."

The teams would like their fans to wear team colors to show their support. If you are a fire team supporter, please wear red. If you support the police team, navy blue is your color. Showing your support will help the teams battle harder on the court. Family friendly signage supporting your favorite player or team is also allowed, but inappropriate signs will be removed.

Current possessor of the trophy, Police Chief Jack Davis, said the police are happy to help out with this charity event.

"The Falls Cancer Club helps so many people and to be a small part of that help is an amazing experience," he added. "Our officers are looking forward to once again have that battle for the coveted trophy and keep it safely in our station."

The Battle of the Badges raises funds by sponsorships and selling ads in the program as well as the gate receipts for those who come out to watch this family fun game. To help with a sponsorship or ad, contact Chairman Bonnie Severt (bsevert@aol.com, 330-929-2506) or the Falls Cancer Club (fallscancerclubinc@gmail.com, 330-929-2796). All money raised is used to pay cancer-related bills of the over 70 cancer patients of the Falls Cancer Club.

As Fire Chief Fred Jack says, "As we battle badges, we support the real battle, our friends fighting cancer."