Annual Gun N’ Hoses event raising money for BackStoppers - KMOV.com

Annual Gun N’ Hoses event raising money for BackStoppers

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Scottrade Center is following an annual Thanksgiving Eve Fundraising Foundation tradition involving St. Louis City and St. Louis County police officers and the St. Louis Fire Department. (Credit: KMOV) Scottrade Center is following an annual Thanksgiving Eve Fundraising Foundation tradition involving St. Louis City and St. Louis County police officers and the St. Louis Fire Department. (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Police officers and fire fighters from all over the St. Louis area went head to head in 3-rounds of boxing matches to raise money for families who lost their loved ones in the line of duty.

The 31st annual Budweiser Guns n' Hoses was held November 22 at Scott Trade Center the night before Thanksgiving.

 "This is the biggest fight in the country," said Dennis Jenkerson, St. Louis City Fire Chief. 

This event is so much more than entertaining physical fights between first responders, it was about raising money for Backstoppers.

This is a non-profit that raises money for spouses and children of fallen first responders. So although this event is a celebration and fun, it's mixed with sadness, remembrance and honor.

"It is emotional, but first of all it’s all about the families, we’re here to honor them and the fallen heroes," said Ron Battelle, former St. Louis Couty Police Chief. 

In an emotional remembrance of her husband, who lost his life battling a structural fire in July 2017, the wife of fallen fire fighter John Kemper rang the 10 count in the opening ceremony.

The recent pain of loss she is going through is something Widow Elizabeth Snyder knows just as well.

"Watching the wife do the 10 count, that was very difficult, but at the same time it’s better because I am a year ahead of her, but it’s because I know what she’s going through right now," said Snyder.

"I was full time in school when this happened to me about a little over a year ago, so we were really just going off of Blake’s really small pay check, so whenever that disappeared I didn’t really know what else I was going to do. So they took care of house payments, care payments, students loans, anything that we really needed," said Snyder. 

Guns n' Hoses is the largest fundraising event in St. Louis for first responders. 

"People come from all over the country to try and figure out how they can bring this event back to their cities," said Jenkerson, "They haven’t been able to replicate it."

Guns n' Hoses has raised $6.1 million dollars this year to date so far. The 31st event was sold out with the largest attendance record to date.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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