It’s a battle between police and kids in East Moline.
All of it in a good way.
Dozens of people came out for the 4th annual Hoops for Hope Wednesday night.
It’s a way for East Moline Police officers to make valuable connections.
Four years ago, kannon burrage walked into his police department with a unique request.
“The instances in Ferguson involving law enforcement and this was just a response to that,” says 28-year-old Kannon Burrage.
That’s when Hoops 4 Hope was born.
“I wanted to sort of set the example of what can happen when we are all on the same team, all on the same page, and all coming together,” he says.
Now, the department shows up in full force.
“Seeing these faces that I’m playing basketball here with today, I see them out on the street and I can have a conversation with them. and they can feel comfortable coming up to me while I’m in uniform to actually talk to me,” says Sgt. Tony Frankowski.
The competition has not only unite officers and those they serve but it’s also given back nearly $3,000 in giveaways and projects, including new bleachers Hereford Park.
“We have school supplies for kids and teachers as well. There’s food, lots of vendors. There’s been donations,” Burrage says.
It’s all for a cause but that doesn’t mean there’s no competition.
“I was part of the original team when they slaughtered us but I’m back out here again,” Sgt. Frankowski says.
The event has grown by the hundreds over the years and organizers hope that each year, the competition on the court gets a little stronger and so does the unity off the court.
If you’re interested in donating you can email organizer Tayvian Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.