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OFD, OPC Combine to Host Benefit Ping Pong Tournament

These are the trophies that will be awarded to the winners of the OFD/OPC benefit ping-pong tournament on Sunday. Photo by John Davis and the Oxford Park Commission
A community-first approach defines the Oxford Fire Department. The latest example of that resides in the benefit ping-pong tournament members of the OFD have helped organize. All proceeds from Sunday afternoon’s event, being held at the Oxford Park Commission’s activity center, will go towards mammogram screening.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and this the second straight year the OFD has done their part to raise funds for the cause. Sammy Woodall is the firefighter who has spearheaded the project, but he’s gotten a lot of help along the way. The community has also jumped on board with donations. Ole Miss baseball coach Mike Bianco signed a ball that will be part of the raffle. Ole Miss softball coach Mike Smith did the same thing. A number of other items can be purchased such as turkey call from Soggy Bottom or a gift certificate from Sweet T’s Bakery. So even beyond the chance to win a trophy on Sunday, there are many ways to give towards a cause that has helped many women and men.
“To know that we can give back to a community that supports us is very important,” said fire chief Mark Heath. “October is a very important month in fire services with prevention efforts, but also with breast cancer awareness. At the national level, firefighters support that effort through the Pink Heels tour and through efforts like we’re doing here.”
Heath added that the thing he most liked about the tournament was that it was a “grassroots effort” that was completed in just four to six weeks.
“It was an amazing feat to raise $1,600 which to equate that is 16 women in the greater Lafayette County area that benefited directly in that they were provided with a mammogram that they wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise,” Heath said. “Those are life-saving things that make a difference in the lives of the women and in their families as well. We’ve had cancer to affect this department directly, either through family members or through actual members of the city employees and the department. It’s very important to us to plug back into this.”
The Lafayette County Fire Department has also been heavily involved in the cooperative. Heath also credited the OPC and local businesses for assisting in offering up space or door prizes that can add to the tournament.
“We’re hoping that this can become an annual event for the next several years, and this can continue to grow,” Heath added.
The cost to take part in the tournament is $20. That’s good for both singles and doubles. All levels of play are welcomed. Play will begin at 2 p.m. Pre-registration can be done through the OPC at www.oxfordparkcommission.com.

Courtesy of John Davis and the Oxford Park Commission
For more questions or comments email us at hottytoddynews@gmail.com

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