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Police cruise to win in community softball game

The fifth annual Woodburn Proud Community BBQ was a fun event for all involved, even the by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Zach Williams fields the ball for the Woodburn Police Department at July 11's police-versus-fire softball game at Centennial Park.Woodburn Fire District, which fell to the Woodburn Police Department 21-13 in a softball rubber match.

“It was great to see the community supporting the event,” said WFD Chief Paul Iverson. “It is nice to have a community that supports all of their emergency services. Thank you to Woodburn Proud for all they do for the community and organizing the game and picnic.”

Woodburn Proud sold hot dogs, chips and drinks for $3, as well as Woodburn Proud stickers and bracelets.

The event originally started as a welcome home to WPD Chief Scott Russell after months of recovery following the Dec. 12, 2008 West Coast Bank bombing.

“We thought, this was such a good time, we should do this every year,” said Kelly Howard, Woodburn Proud board member.

by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Woodburn Fire Chief Paul Iverson swings and hits the ball in the second inning of play at the police-versus-fire softball game July 11 at Centennial Park. The fire district had a slow start but its comeback was too late, resulting in a 21-13 police victory. This marks the second win for the police department since the annual softball game was started in 2011.Year two featured potato sack races, during which both police and fire representatives “cheated pretty badly,” Howard laughed.

But it was the summer of 2011 that first saw the softball games, complete with trash talking, advanced team practices and a lot of friendly competition.

This was the second year WPD took the win, with WFD winning the inaugural match in 2011.

“The game ended with some stellar defensive plays by the police department, taking away any ray of hope for a Woodburn Fire comeback,” said WPD’s Det. Rick Puente, who pitched the game. “Let’s just say they went up in flames, smoldered and could not reignite.”

Iverson with the fire district graciously accepted the defeat.

“I thought it was a good game,” said Iverson. “We all had fun. I congratulate WPD on the win. They played good fundamental softball.”

Fire district players once again wrote their pink T-shirts in support of breast cancer research, a fitting reminder that the following night at the same location, Centennial Park, would be the Woodburn Area Relay for Life.

“We’ve kind of made this a partnership with Woodburn Proud,” said Gina Audritsh, co-chair of Relay. “It’s a nice way to tie into our event, but we don’t want to take away from Woodburn Proud and what they do to honor first responders.”

Woodburn Fire, Police and Ambulance workers were celebrated for their service to the community and got their meals for free.

“It’s a great way to honor them and for the community to come and eat with them side by side,” Howard said. “It’s nice to do that and give them a night off.”




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