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Bars and restaurants sign-up for benefit for Backstoppers

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) -As News 11 first reported the Guns-n-Hoses police v. firefighters boxing matches, which raise close to a quarter of a million dollars for The Backstoppers every year, has been postponed.

Now, an effort to back up The Backstoppers is sweeping St. Louis.

The Backstoppers provides financial assistance to the families of police, firefighters, and EMT’s, killed in the line of duty.

So far 57 bars and restaurants including Lynda Lou's Bridgeton are taking donations and are going to be charging a $1 cover charge to get in the night before Thanksgiving:  the night Guns-n-Hoses had been held for 27 years.

Marley`s bar and restaurant in Ferguson is one of those participating.  It has added a Rock ‘Em-Sock ‘Em robots tourney that night.  It’s $10 to get in.

Instant Imprints in St. Peters is selling t-shirts for $15 in conjunction with the effort.

“We just like to take the negative that happened in Ferguson and turn it around make something positive in the community coming together,” said Katie Schlogl, who owns Instant Imprints with her husband, Brian.  “None of us are firefighters; none of us are first responders.  None of us are police officers…it’s just the need for the community to come together.  There’s enough negative about St. Louis. “

“We’re just covering the cost of the shirt. We’re donating the time and the ink,” said Brian.

About 75% of the proceeds from every shirt sold will go to The Backstoppers.

“I know there’s a challenge out now to bars to do a fundraiser $1 cover charge or whatever,” said Marley’s owner, Martin Braun.  “We’re going to do this [the tournament], we’re going to do that as well.  We’re going to do some fundraising…it’s Ferguson.”

A man named Jeff Tucker started the movement.

His aunt is a firefighter who fought in the Guns-n-Hoses police versus firefighters boxing matches.

He issued a challenge on Facebook to bars and restaurants, after seeing the News 11 report about the Guns-n-Hoses being postponed.

Things have just taken off from there.

Area fire departments are jumping on board, organizing fill the boot campaigns for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

“This is Backstoppers big week,” said Scott Barthelmass of the Eureka Fire Protection District.  “This is the time they make a large amount of money to support those families…we need to support those who support us.”

Guns-n-Hoses is likely to be rescheduled in the Spring.

First responders remind everyone, let's have no tragedies from this.  Do not drink and drive.

The 100 Thanksgiving Eve Challenge

Follow Andy Banker on Twitter and Facebook:
Email: andy.banker@tvstl.com

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