Battle of the Badges softball tournament raises money for families in need

Battle of the Badges softball tournament raises money for families in need
Published: Aug. 20, 2023 at 10:39 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 4:19 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - It was an exciting day for fire departments, paramedics, police departments and many more agencies who all gathered Sunday for one reason: to play ball.

An annual softball tournament brought Lenoir County together to get active and raise money for local families in need.

The historic Grainger stadium was getting as rowdy as it can for the last day of Battle of the Badges. Excitement and energy filled the stadium as city and county’s first responders and state agencies kicked off this annual game.

The Down East Wood Ducks hosted this year’s Kinston-Lenoir Battle of the Badges.

City and county’s first responders and state agencies formed eight groups to play in this year’s softball tournament.

For Ron Daughety, a firefighter from Sandy Bottom Volunteer Fire and Rescue, today was a special day to play on the field.

Daughety shared with WITN News, “Today is my 44th birthday, enjoying with the brothers and badges playing ball. All the brothers, fire department and everybody enjoyed it, loved it. Fellowship, friendship, everything. It made it a good day.”

It was a unique opportunity for all players to enjoy the unforgettable day with coworkers, without the pressure and stress from their work settings.

Murry Stroud from Lenoir County Emergency Service employee/player said, “We’re a busy system over here so having time like this just get out, play, and have fun, and kind of forget work, it’s always great.”

First responders and agencies weren’t the only people who could take part in the fun. Family members who enjoy playing ball were invited to play too.

Amber Swinson, the daughter of a supervisor at Lenoir County Emergency Services, says it was the game for a good cause that kept her team going through the heat this weekend. Swinson said, “Motivation. We talk each other out, we keep it going, keep that water in, we’re good.”

In the championship game Sunday evening, the Seven Springs Volunteer Fire Department defeated the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office by a 14-4 score.

Officials are still tabulating the proceeds, but believe they raised around $8,000.