Paying the price for charity

The  Roanoke Rampage  football team got our 1st win yesterday against the South Carolina Commanders… final score 21-8

This is the 2nd season for the newly formed Rampage and our 1st victory in 6 games.

We are learning and growing with each week. We are also paying a price.

I say this NOT in a negative way but rather with the intent of educating others on our cause.

We are Fire fighters, Police and Rescue workers who play FULL CONTACT  football to raise money for charity. We play in the National Public Safety Football League.

Our jobs dictate that we place our health, safety and lives on the line every shift but this … Football…. is on our days off.  It’s our day off yet we still are out there putting it on the line. WHY?  Because it’s the right thing to do and NOBODY else will.

Our charities of choice hit close to home.  STEPS 4 BILLY   raises money for research towards finding a cure for CTCL (Cutaneous T-cell Lymphomia).

Chief Obenchain made a huge impact on the Roanoke City Fire Department and many of it’s members. His “motto” hangs on the wall and is read to every new Recruit Class to this date.   

See related articles / posts    HERE   and   HERE  .

 A cause near and dear to our hearts but one that also reaches well beyond the “Valley” of Roanoke, Va.

Our 2nd Charity for this season deals with another battle lost to cancer by Roanoke County Police Officer Adam Childress.

Adam lost his long fought battle with Metastatic Melanoma on December 22, 2010.

He was first diagnosed in 2009 and fought back until he was able to return to duty. Sadly, the cancer reemerged and Adam was forced to call for medical assistance from his Police car.

He left behind, amoung others; a wife and daughter Keesha and Madison.

Adam wanted to play for the Rampage and would have wore the # 28.

His jersey and number is the 1st to be “retired” for the Rampage. A framed jersey was presented to his family in honor and memory of Adam and the sacrifices he made for our community.

Touching huh?  Great causes by GREAT men. Hey folks … we do and see this EVERY DAY. We face it every shift. Now, the guys on the team are out there taking a beating … the bumps and bruises .. to raise awareness and raise money for causes such as these.

I know I am bias but we suffer enough with little to no comensation on the job. Now, we’re out there on our day off and can only manage 300 fans in the stand? WTF!

In our first game this season (against the Chicago Fire Department) we had 5 injuries …. 2 serious.

We lost 2 players to knee injuries and their job and pay checks could suffer (League average is 1 per year) .

We are not allowed to play (team rules ..NOT Department rules) unless we have our OWN supplimental insurance. Another expense to our players who are trying to “give back” and “do the right thing”.

Our Departments are not obligated to accomidate or help our injured .. though several do. Getting injured playing football is no different than having an accident at home ..falling off a ladder while cleaning the gutters … pulling your back moving the couch for the wife’s spring cleaning etc. If we don’t have the “sick” or “vacation” time saved up … we could be OUT OF WORK.

My point here is this. Yesterday, Zach Slayton (Rampage #96) suffered a broken leg. He’s now in a cast and I’m not sure how long he will be out of work.

Zach (and the rest of the team) has paid a price this and last season by just signing up. We make the practices. We buy our gear. We pay to travel. We even pay extra to accomidate the visiting teams. We miss “family time” … more than what our job deprives us of. We come home stiff, sore and hurt. We work and push through it.. we’re Cops and Firemen .. that’s just WHAT WE DO!

All we ask in return is for a little help. ATTENDANCE . We need people in the stands supporting us! Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children over 5.  CHEAP concidering the price we pay. Sure .. it was cool and rainy yesterday. THAT’S FOOTBALL WEATHER !!! 

The “RIGHT THING” is never easy to do …. I’m curious what the people here in Roanoke had  to do that was better than raising money for our 2 charities or supporting their local Fire, Rescue and Police officers. 300 in the stands yesterday. 300 in a city of 100,000!  We LOST money. That barely paid for what The City of Salem Charges us for the Stadium …. yea … they CHARGE us. By League rules … we also “HOST” the “Away” team. When they come here, OUR charities get the proceedes. When we travel … their charities get the funds. Give and Take …. that’s what it’s all about.

We have to put the away team up in a hotel and provide an after game meal (as other home teams do when we travel).  You do the math ….

Your local Fire, Rescue and Police Officers are doing their part every day they report for duty. Here in Roanoke, we are going that “extra mile”. We are paying the price in more ways than one. We are fighting cancer and giving back.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Our next home gane is April 16, 2011 @ Salem Memorial Stadium against the Charlotte Cobras. The game is at 3pm .. I hope to see YOU there. You can bet that your local Fire, Rescue and Police Officers will be there to do their part!

Congratulations to the Roanoke Rampage on thier first win! Special thanks to oll of our wives and family who attended to work and help make the event a success (selling tickets, etc).

Here’s the local news coverage …


Captain Wines