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Members of the Hooksett Police Department gather with the Hooksett Safety Cup after defeating firefighters 15-9 in a charity softball game at Donati Field on Tuesday, July 16, to benefit the Hooksett Food Pantry. (Darrell Halen Photo)

Hooksett police and fire departments play ball for food pantry

Several of Hooksett’s public safety workers recently battled it out on the diamond.

A team of police officers beat a team of firefighters 15-9 in a charity softball game that benefited the Hooksett Food Pantry. In doing so, the officers retained the Hooksett Public Safety Cup, which they won last year.

“It’s a great opportunity to get together, have some fun, and show support for the pantry this year,” Police Chief Peter Bartlett said after the Tuesday, July 16, game.

According to officer Brian Williams, who played shortstop, he organized last year’s game with firefighter Michael Benoit. In that game, the officers won in the final inning and the money raised went to the restoration of Hooksett’s Veterans’ Memorial.

“We decided to do it again and it’s going to be an ongoing tradition,” Williams said.

The game, held at Donati Field, featured lots of joking and good-natured ribbing between opposing players.

After Fire Chief Mike Williams, serving as first-base umpire, ruled one of his firefighters safe when he reached the base, he drew laughs when he shouted, “Hey, I call them the way I see them.”

“There’s great camaraderie,” said Bartlett, who like his fellow officers wore blue T-shirts while the firefighters donned red. “Everyone jokes around. It’s good-spirited fun.”

The game was free to the public but they were asked to bring a monetary donation or nonexpired, nonperishable food to benefit the pantry.

“It’s the time of the year when the shelves are low,” said Brian Williams. “People donate around the holidays. This is the time they need it most.”

One of the spectators was Johanna Reagan, who attended the game with her 10-year-old son, Macallister.

“We had come last year and really enjoyed it,” she said while sitting at a picnic table near the game. “It’s all in fun. They showed phenomenal sportsmanship. It’s nice to see them out in the community.”

The Hooksett Safety Cup will be on display in a case in the police station lobby. According to Brian Williams, it was donated by an anonymous person last year.

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