'Battle of the Blue' raises money and awareness for children ser - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

'Battle of the Blue' raises money and awareness for children services

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Dozens of Youngstown police and firefighters were called to the Arlington Heights Recreation Center on Friday evening on the city's north side. But it wasn't an emergency, instead is was a friendly rivalry.

The two departments went head-to-head in the "Battle of the Blue" basketball game.

Making their way down the court, Youngstown police and firefighters know a thing or two about working under pressure.

Friday night all eyes were on them. Their biggest fans were also the littlest.

"They're our future. It's cliche to say, but the kids are the future of Youngstown. If we want them to grow up in a positive atmosphere, we've got to do things like this for them to see us," said Police Officer Mohammad Awad.

All the money raised in charity game goes to the Mahoning County Children Services. This is the second year for the event.

"The Battle of the Blue" is named in honor of blue being Child Abuse Prevention Month in April," said Jennifer Kollar with the Mahoning County Children Services.

Last year's game raised about $5,000. Donations from this year's game are still being totaled, but on their way to be another slam dunk.

"Last year, the sheriff's played the cops. This year the cops challenged the fire department to a game, then the winner will get to challenge somebody next year, " said Jimmy Drummond with the Youngstown Fire Department.

"One of the reasons is because we work very closely with law enforcement," said Kollar. "It makes sense they're our stakeholders, they have an interest in children in the community as well as we do and it was a natural partnership."

This year, the fire department came out on top with a final score of 70-41.

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