Playing for the police

Eureka softball held a kickball tournament for students and staff to raise money for first responders.

Emily Grossnicklaus, reporter

One hundred seventeen. That is the number of police office deaths in 2016. Fifty-four of those were gun-related.

That statistic hit close to home when a South County teen shot St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder when the officer responded to a disturbance call, Oct. 7. Officer

“First responders contribute a lot to the community” Rohan Rai, gold team member, said. “I think it is great we give awareness, and we give back to people that help our community.”

Mr. Andrew Ribbing, science teacher, and the Eureka softball program held a kickball tournament to raise money for Backstoppers and the Snyder family.

Backstoppers is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to spouses of those in the line of duty.

“It’s a lot of fun and a way for teachers and students to enjoy a friendly competition for a good cause,” Megan Lofgreen, varsity softball captain, said. “It’s nice not taking the competition too seriously, and everybody is in it to help everyone.”

The kickball tournament involved over 20 students, 10 teachers, firemen and police officers throughout the community and raised over $2,100.

“It was nice because the teams were pretty random so you got to meet people,” Elle Baker, gold team member, said. “The firefighters and police officers came and joined us for a little bit so that was fun, and it was for a good cause.”

Three teams were involved; the purple team, gold team and blue team. These teams included first responders throughout the St. Louis County area. The purple team pulled out the win.

“This is a great cause, and it allows the student and teacher to have a bridge. I like that,” Mrs. Rachel Steward, science teacher and junior varsity softball coach, said  “I like to interact with students outside of class. I see who they really are.”

The tournament was a way for student and teachers to meet others and get to know one another on a personal level.

“The tournament went really well. That day alone we raised over $800. The fire department came out towards the end and got to play,” Mr. Ribbing said. “My favorite part was seeing everyone get together, and have a good time outside of the school setting was a real highlight.”

Mr. Ribbing is continuing to sell shirts for Backstoppers throughout this week for $15.