ST. LOUIS, MO - We're happy to report the 2018 Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses boxing event is sold out. The event is the premier fundraiser for BackStoppers. These amateur boxers use guns or hoses in their everyday jobs. But in the ring police and firefighters use the exact same tools, speed, power, and precision.
You better know what you’re doing before you step into a boxing ring. Some people might even think it's not the place for females. One of the boxers on this year’s card is a police officer whose boxing dreams began in middle school.
Tawanna Simms joined the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department two years ago.
“I joined the force to help my community and make a difference and be a role model for the people I grew up with,” Simms says.
Officer Simms discovered boxing during her formative years. She went to her neighborhood recreational center for one thing and ended up boxing.
“I always wanted to be a cheerleader when I was in middle school. But my mother couldn’t afford it. I went to 12th and Park Recreational Center where it was free and that’s when I got into boxing."
Guns ‘N Hoses offers professional first responders a chance to climb into the ring for a three-round bout. The boxer’s physique isn’t necessarily a guarantee the boxer wins.
“Looking at me, they don’t expect me to be as good. It’s like a shock to people when they see me actually fight,” Simms says.
Simms has no personal connection to a fallen first responder, but she understands the importance of BackStoppers for relatives of the fallen.
“They lost their significant others, fathers, mothers, daughters. So, I believe in raising money for them."
$1.5 million in assistance is provided annually by BackStoppers. Last year Guns ‘N Hoses raised a record $700,000.
“I think it affects the whole police department because it’s like a brother and sisterhood. Cause we think like it could have been one of us.”
Guns ‘N Hoses is coming up Wednesday, November 21, 2018, at the Enterprise Center. Doors open at 5:30pm and boxing starts at 6:30pm.