ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – It’s one of St. Louis’ biggest events and most popular rivalries: cops versus firefighters in the annual Guns ‘N Hoses boxing tournament.
On Friday morning, the president of Guns ‘N Hoses presented a check to The Backstoppers, an organization that helps families of fallen first responders.
When he was just 12 years old, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch lost the man who meant everything to him. His father was a St. Louis City police officer, killed in the line of duty. Since day 1, the BackStoppers, then a fairly new organization, helped his family when they needed it most. McCulloch explains, “They assisted my mother with the mortgage at the time, but they were always there was the real key.”
Now he’s the BackStoppers President, and honored to receive the $292,000 check from Guns ‘N Hoses at City Hall: “It’s a very emotional thing, because I know what the BackStoppers can do.”
David Stokes, President of the Guns ‘N Hoses Boxing Association, presented this check from their 2013 event, attended by 17,000 people. The boxing tournament is held each year on Thanksgiving Eve. Since its inception 27 years ago, Guns ‘N Hoses has donated more than $4 million to BackStoppers.
“We’re just really happy with all the support we’ve received from the community, and we look forward to keeping the momentum and making it bigger and better in the years to come,” says Stokes.
Right now, BackStoppers helps 68 families and 49 children of fallen firefighters and police officers in Missouri and Illinois with bills, education and other expenses. In an ideal world, their services wouldn’t be necessary, but until then, BackStoppers and all those boxers will keep fighting for these families.
“We know that down the line, there are going to be more first responders who die in the line of duty, and it’s just great to know that we’ll be there to take care of things,” says McCulloch.