|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Benefit for firefighters on deck for Rogues game

  • The smoke hanging in the air will be a poignant reminder of the role wildland firefighters play in southwestern Oregon Thursday evening when the Medford Rogues minor league baseball team trots out onto the home field.
    • email print
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
  • The smoke hanging in the air will be a poignant reminder of the role wildland firefighters play in southwestern Oregon Thursday evening when the Medford Rogues minor league baseball team trots out onto the home field.
    A portion of 1,000 tickets sold for the game with the Kitsap BlueJackets of Washington will go to the Wildlands Firefighter Foundation, a nonprofit group that supports firefighters and their families.
    Firefighters from the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest's Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District will be selling 1,000 $8 tickets. Half the proceeds will go to the foundation, based in Boise. Purchase of the tickets is tax-deductible.
    The event, which includes a silent auction, will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Harry & David Field in Medford. The game starts at 6:30 p.m.
    "My goal is to raise more than $4,000," said Gary Smith, a fundraiser organizer and a fire division chief with the Siskiyou Mountains firefighting unit.
    Items for the silent auction were donated by local businesses and groups, including Harry & David, the Black Bird Shopping Center and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he said. There also will be a raffle, he added.
    "Hopefully, this will be an annual event to help firefighters who are injured or their families," said Smith, 39, a firefighter for more than two decades.
    The foundation supports injured firefighters as well as the families of those who are killed in the line of duty, Smith said.
    The foundation is helping the family of firefighter John Hammack, 58, who died while falling trees last week in a fire in the Deschutes National Forest.
    And it will doubtlessly offer help to the family of the 19-year-old killed Tuesday morning while driving a water truck on Bear Camp Road while helping to battle the Big Windy Complex fire, Smith said.
    The foundation is well respected in the firefighting community, he said.
    For the game, wildland fire engines and gear will be in front of the baseball park, he said.
    "Our goal is to fill every seat in the stadium," he said.
    That sounds like a home run with bases loaded to Chuck Heeman, general manager of the Rogues.
    "We do a lot of fundraisers for a lot of causes, so it was an easy decision to do this," he said. "It ties into everything that has been happening with firefighters."
    He was alluding to the 19 wildland firefighters killed in a fire in Arizona in June as well as the two who have died in the past two weeks in Oregon.
    "All the firefighters are very busy now with these fires, but they were able to organize this, too," he said. "They are amazing."
    Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 541-776-4496 or email him at pfattig@mailtribune.com.
Reader Reaction

      calendar