After estimating that the 2015 Battle of the Badges fundraising event for autism raised about $65,000, the official total is in, and it’s a bit higher: $66,358.
Mount Pleasant police Officer James Kelley announced the total on the Battle of the Badges Facebook page after the Wisconsin Professional Police Association published a story about the event in its magazine.
“I was going to wait till the check presentation on the 18th, (but) The Battle of the Badges the fight for Autism 2015 final count $66,358.52!!! The Wisconsin Professional Police Association also printed a nice article in the January issue of their magazine!” his post reads.
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. Autism is a cause close to Kelley’s heart; his son, Logan, is on the spectrum.
The inaugural Battle in 2014 raised almost $28,000, and Kelley hoped to raise $50,000 at the second event since it had doubled in size from a handful of bouts featuring local law enforcement and firefighters to 12 bouts and boxers from local, state and federal agencies throughout Southeast Wisconsin. The night also featured hundreds of raffle and silent auction items, including bicycles, a jukebox, wheelbarrows filled with various bottles of liquor and more.