MDA, Special Olympics reap benefit of charity event

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By Tris DeRoma

Though only one team won the Battle of the Badges basketball game last week, in reality a lot of people won, according to the officials that helped organize the event, which was held at the Griffith Gym at Los Alamos High School.
Rick Gonzales, a driver and engineer with the Los Alamos Fire Department and one of the organizers of the Battle of the Badges game, said the fundraiser helped two important charities come out on top.
“In the long run, we really feel like it was the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) and the Special Olympics who really won, even though it was the firefighters who won the game,” he said with a laugh.
The game was between the LAFD and the Los Alamos Police Department and LAFD came away with a 44-32 victory.
But the game was more than about wins and losses.
The game raised $2,200 for the charities and the night also featured a raffle that raised $5,000 for a few children from families in the community who are undergoing expensive medical care.
The firefighters chose the Muscular Dystrophy Association since their union, the International Association of Firefighters, adopted it as its charity in the 1950s.
Firefighters in Los Alamos belong to IAFF Local 3279.

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