First responders face-off for charity goalball game

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne’s police and fire department competed in a friendly game of goalball.

The charity game was to raise funds for Turnstone, a nonprofit organization that caters to people with disabilities. The funds raised will help adaptive sport and athlete development programs offered at Turnstone for children and adults.

“We work for the community and we like to do community events,” said Rodney Bradtmuller, Fort Wayne police sergeant. “Turnstone is one of the places that helps out our community. We are appreciative of the opportunity to help out Turnstone.”

Police department challenges the fire department:

To help prepare for the game, the first responders received training from the USA Goalball team.

“I think it’s amazing that they are so involved with the community,” said Tyler Merren, a 17-year USA Goalball veteran. “These are people who put their lives on the line, but still find time to come out and do these type of events. “

Goalball is a sport for the visually impaired. Participants are blindfolded and compete in teams of three. The goal is to get a ball embedded with bells into the opponents net.

“You are completely blindfolded so it’s definitely out of your element,” said Andrew Fry, Fort Wayne police officer. “But it’s kinda what some people deal with daily. It’s crazy to think that it’s pitch black but there is still so much that you can do.”

For the Fort Wayne Police, this event has dual meaning. On one hand it was their way to give back to the community and help a nonprofit organization, but it was also a way to pay tribute to Officer Fry who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

“It’s a tribute to myself, my last name is Fry” said Fry. “And hose fryers because we are going to beat up the firefighters a little bit.”

The event kicked off with a tailgate at 4:00 p.m. in parking lot A at Turnstone. The goal ball game stared at 6:00 p.m. at the Plassman Athletic Center Fieldhouse.

For more information about Turnstone, visit their website.

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