By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Fall break and the Millington Trojan Football team has a bye week.
So if residents of Millington are looking for something worthwhile to do and see one of the oldest friendly rivalries under lights, head out to the historic USA Stadium this Friday night for the 2017 Millington Fire and Police Charity Softball Game benefiting the Brian Callies Foundation.
“This is a big game and a friendly rival for me,” Event co-organizer and Millington Officer Michael Jordan said. “I made friendship and work relations over the years I have spent with Millington.
“I want the public to know that we both Police and Fire who individually care about the community and want to help as much as we can,” he added. “I want the public to know that fire and police are approachable and we are here to have fun in a different set of light besides working in a uniform.”
The origin of the game started a few years ago as a way to benefit one of the MPD’s own. At the police department, Karen Craig was diagnosis with cancer.
“Greg Grurthoff and I played ball together for years and we became brothers, however the difference was that he was a firefighter and I was a police officer,” Jordan recalled. “Greg and I had one comment factor about each other and it was to help people through public safety. Since then Greg and I have built a strong friendship and he know how much I can count on him for being my partner for events like this and helping over the years with public safety.”
Grurthoff and Jordan’s even raised more than $3,000 for Craig’s cancer treatments. This October marks the fifth year of Craig being cancer free.
“After a few years past, sometime in August, Director of the USA Stadium Johnny Ray asked me about doing a softball game at the stadium for fire and police,” Jordan said. “The first thing I said was, ‘Yes.’ I immediately called Greg and we spoke about the game and he was committed in doing this.
“Greg and I went to Director of Public Safety Gary Graves and told him what was asked,” he continued. “Director Graves with a smile on his face said ‘let’s do it.’ So here we are two days until the game. Let’s make Millington proud for both departments. We are here to help the community and also to make Millington proud.”
Jordan said resident should come out for a night of fun, fellowship and bonding with the men and women in the uniforms of Millington.
“Millington as a community needs to see the family love on both departments and see that we are just individual who dedicate their lives to public safety,” he said.
The participants of the 2017 game hope the event can grow into an well-attended annual tradition.
“The future plans for this event is to keep it every year as a charity event at the USA Stadium after baseball season is at the end,” Jordan said. “This game is going to high tense and very hard for both teams. Both teams are equally matched and have great players. The team that makes fewer errors and can move run will win each inning, then win the game claiming the championship trophy at the end. “
With many city officials planning to attend, Jordan said come out to USA Stadium to support the Blue and the Red.
“Special thanks to Director Graves, USA Stadium staff, Millington Parks and Rec and to the city as a whole,” Jordan concluded.
Things will kickoff at 4351 Babe Howard Blvd with a pre-game concert at 5:45 p.m. with the game starting at 6:30. Admission is free and donations will be accepted.
By Thomas Sellers Jr.