Battle of the Badges last Sunday was a big hit with the community for its exciting match and community games, but it did a lot more than simply provide a fun night out. Through donations, a silent auction, and 50/50 tickets, $3904 was raised for charities School Fuel and Strathmore and District Play School. The money will be evenly split between the two charities.

Firefighter Erica Barnson said all the first responders are extremely grateful for the strong community support and says the donation will make a big difference for kids.

"(The donation) helps kids go to school without feeling hungry, which is always an amazing thing to do and then for the play school, they're really looking forward to it as well because it helps with supplies for the school. It honestly makes every day a little bit better for the kids," she said.

Constable Randy Romkey, who was also the RCMP goalie, said the community support was also great for the game itself, as having an enthusiastic large crowd brought extra energy to an already fun event.

"It's fun, you're doing this for the community, so having the community support you is great," Romkey said.

"It was awesome. Every time there was a goal scored, you could definitely tell even if you weren't watching at the time. It was pretty awesome to hear," Barnson added.

Battle of the badges

An event like Battle of the Badges takes the entire community working together, and Barnson and Romkey both expressed their thanks to all those who helped the night be a huge success.

"We would all like to thank the volunteers that came out to make the game what it was. A lot of them just stepped up and were really helpful on game day and leading up to it as well. There's a lot of small pieces behind the puzzle that definitely make it what it is and helps out quite a bit. Between the volunteers and the support of the community, it means the world to us, we really appreciate it," Barnson said. 

"Our sponsors as well, a lot of local businesses stepped up with prizes and we had trophies donated, so all of that, we're really appreciative of. It's just a testament to the Town of Strathmore and the people and how supportive they are," Romkey added.

Barnson and Romkey both gave a big thank you to Flag Bearer Irshad Shaikh, bagpiper Master Corporal Eric Knight, anthem singer and announcer Graydon Pease from Choice Voice, and scorekeeper and music Dave Bryan.

RCMPBagpiper Master Corporal Eric Knight and RCMP Flag Bearer Irshad Shaikh

Even though Battle of the Badges only happened two days ago, the first responders are already looking forward to next year and have begun planning. While it's too early to give any details, Romkey said they're thinking of other things to add to the event and how to make it even bigger.

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