Event organizers hoped to meet a $50,000 goal, but final numbers from the 2015 Battle of the Badges: Fight for Autism are far above that benchmark.
Mount Pleasant police Officer Jim Kelley confirmed Wednesday that the 2015 event pulled in $65,000.
“It’s beyond what our expectations were! My goal was $50,000 since last year we raised $27,328!” Kelley told Racine County Eye. “It’s awesome how generous people and businesses can be. Everyone enjoyed themselves and I heard many people already talking about the event next year!”
The first Battle in 2014 raised $28,000 for Easter Seals’ autism services, and organizers hoped to reach $50,000 in 2015. To bring in $65,000 is surprising and welcome.
Kelley’s friendship and trash-talking with MPPD Sgt. Jason Vaccaro led to the 2014 event when a fellow officer said he’d put his money where Kelley’s and Vaccaro’s mouths were. Ten officers and firefighters from Racine County agencies participated in 2014, but that number swelled in 2015 to 24 fighters in 12 bouts; two of which featured women.
Representatives from Easter Seals are blown away by the results of this year’s Battle.
“What you have achieved through the efforts of so many kind, generous and talented hearts is simply astounding. We cannot thank you enough for supporting our mission,” they posted.
While Easter Seals was the real winner of the evening, boxers who took their bout were awarded a trophy:
Bout 1: Mark Anderson, KPD
Bout 2: Joseph Spaulding, RPD
Bout 3: Frankie Jaramillo, MPPD
Bout 4: Jonathan Scifres, KSD
Bout 5: Tanya Kennedy, KPD
Bout 6: Draw between Pearson, RCSO/Bixby, Cudahy FD
Bout 7: Greg Spencer, KFD
Bout 8: Phil Brietchaft, KPD
Bout 9: Michelle Frank, RFD
Bout 10: James Davis, SSFD
Bout 11: Draw between Vega, KPD/Renteria, RFD
Bout 12: Juan Mireles, RPD
“Thank you to all the boxers. We know you trained very hard for this, (and) we appreciate you very much!” organizers wrote. “The real winners are the individuals that Easter Seals assists.”