On November 16th, Silver Bay and Lake County Law Enforcement faced off against the Silver Bay Fire Department in a good-natured volleyball match. “We did this as a small fundraiser for our booster club, the M-Club supports all of the Silver Bay athletic programs, including the Mariner and North Shore Storm teams. Besides fundraising – we were just really looking for a fun community event between sports seasons to get community involved,” Kelly Ollila said.
The idea for Battle of the Badges, Ollila explained, was a take on an All-Star game with adults. “We then came up with the idea to ask our local first responders. These men and women are the backbone of our community’s safety and work tirelessly each day to protect us. We wanted to recognize them because they are our community’s ‘All-Stars’.” Local Law Enforcement and the Silver Bay Fire Department gave a “great response” with people willing to come out and play. “The stage was set…Fire vs. Law! We are thankful to each of these organizations for not only serving our community but helping us raise funds in such an event!”
Before the match began, the team members were introduced with a unique nickname and the number of years they have served. The
The Law Enforcement team represented the home team, sporting matching white team t-shirts, complete with their badge number on the sleeve. The Silver Bay Fire Department represented the visitors, and wore colored SBFD t-shirts. Many in the crowd, especially young people, could be seen wearing plastic firemen’s helmets, generously provided to them by the fire department. Following the introductions, the match commenced with a recorded rendition of the National Anthem.
Each game included some good-natured ribbing from the crowd about whether the ball was allowed to ricochet off the ceiling and how tightly foot faults and carries were going to be called. The first set was won by the Law Enforcement team 25-12, making it look like local law enforcement was going to have an easy three-game win. After a water break, however, the Fire Department came back with renewed enthusiasm and forced the Law Enforcement team into overtime; the Fire Department winning with 26 points to Law Enforcement’s 24. Encouraged by the Fire Department’s win, those rooting for SBFD were eager to see them take the next set. Game three showed a few good volleys and strong serves, but Law Enforcement won 25-20. Determined to try again, the SBFD started game four with all the enthusiasm they could muster, but Law Enforcement kept finding a hole in the middle of SBFD’s side and won 25-10.
Two raffles were held, the first being a 50/50 split with the winner and the M-Club. The second raffle included donations sponsored by area businesses such as Kwik Trip and SuperOne. Prizes also included a few stuffed animals and fire department t-shirts. While the raffles were being conducted, the SBFD members tossed t-shirts to the crowd.
An attendee described it as a fun-filled night, seeing the community gather to support those who serve us day and night. Law Enforcement took home this year’s Battle of the Badges 3-1, complete with an accompanying trophy. Sheriff Nathan Stadler said, “I feel this was a great way to support Silver Bay athletics. At the same time, the fire department and law enforcement were able to entertain the community by showing off our volleyball skills, or lack of. I look forward to participating in the next Battle of the Badges.” Thank you to the M-Club and those working behind the scenes to sponsor an event where we could get to better know the men behind the badges.