Guns-N-Hoses Grudge Match April 29

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Funding successful youth sports programs in the Rim country requires solid financial backing from a variety of sources.


To ensure there is adequate support, a number of civic-minded groups annually band together to uncover new and unique ways to earn money for local youth activities.


One of the most anticipated benefits of the sports season is the annual Guns vs. Hoses flag football game that pits local law enforcement agencies against fire-fighting personnel from around the Rim country.


This spring, the game is at 11 a.m. April 29 on the Payson High School football field. In addition to the gridiron clash, the game will feature a variety of other activities including a visit from the Department of Public Service Air Ranger helicopter and the DPS roll-over simulator.


According to DPS officer Jim Oestmann -- a former PHS football star who will play in the charity game -- the roll-over apparatus vividly demonstrates what occurs in auto accidents when seat belts are not in use.


Also highlighting the game will be a DARE booth, dunk tank, food and beverage stands and several raffles of items donated by local businessmen.


Among the list of those scheduled for tours of duty in the dunk tank is Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner.


Oestmann said sponsors of the game also are exploring the possibility of attracting Arizona Cardinals to Payson for autograph sessions.


There are plenty of activities for onlookers, but at the center of the benefit is always a spirited clash between the lawmen and firefighters.


Joining Oestmann on the "guns" team will be another former PHS football standout DPS officer Tony McDaniel. Others slated to play on the team are Payson Police officer Les Barr, and Gila Sheriff Deputy Rodney Cronk.


Expected to compete on the "hoses team" coached by Payson Fire Department's Guy Austin is ared-hot group of talented gridders.


A small admission fee, which was not determined by press time, will be charged at the gate.


All proceeds from the event will benefit the Payson Youth football league.


Organizers are inviting the entire community to come and join in the fun.

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