A few Thursday nights ago, NEDSRA hosted a wheelchair basketball game between our Junior Bulls team, ages 12 to 19, and the firefighters of the Addison Fire Protection District. I had met Deputy Chief Joe Leone at an chamber of commerce meeting and he was gracious enough to offer his agency’s services for any fundraising help. He told me to contact Roger Bayne of the Addison Firefighters Association, who ended up organizing the firefighter team. Ten guys volunteered to play the 40-minute game and another 20 people, a mix of family and other firefighters, came out for the game.
The Jr. Bulls team was excited to have some strong competition. They are currently preparing for the national wheelchair basketball tournament in the spring. Adam Kramer, the Jr. Bulls coach, has done a great job increasing the skill level of the team as they are currently ranked 11th in the nation for their division. As a sports competitor myself, I know that you get better at your game when you play tough competition.
However, what I observed that night was the firefighter team having a blast playing basketball in wheelchairs. They were laughing and joking with each other and it became a real team bonding event for them. They weren’t very coordinated at first and were down by 14 points on the scoreboard, but that didn’t matter. As the game went on, they did get better. The point I want to make here is that these guys volunteered their free time to support NEDSRA and ended up having a tremendously fun evening. This happens a lot when volunteering to help disabled individuals. I have seen it.
So thank you Addison Fire Protection District for your support. I know you had fun. Check out pictures from the game at our NEDSRA Flicker account.
Bruce Flowers is the marketing coordinator for Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association.