Everyone won at Grappling 4 Good

If there is a good reason to do something, do it. If there are two good reasons, that’s a bonus. If there are three, we must be talking about last month’s Grappling 4 Good event, put on by Cape Girardeau’s police and fire departments.

The grappling event served as a fundraiser for Special Olympics Missouri, and thanks to the 400 people who attended to show their support, that worthy cause will receive $8,000. Special Olympics has long been a favorite cause for the police and fire departments. COVID-19 had canceled some of their fundraising efforts in the past year, and so it was especially gratifying to the officers and firefighters to put on the event to benefit the organization.

Training leading up to the event and the matches themselves provided opportunities for those charged with serving and protecting the public to work on non-lethal personal-control methods. This type of training is nothing new to Cape, though, as these men and women have participated in several programs designed to help them de-escalate potentially dangerous situations and use techniques — including jiujitsu — to control a situation without relying on a firearm. Couple this with the recent acceptance of non-lethal weapons donated to the police department, and it’s clear our local men and women in uniform are working hard not only on the “serving” part of the slogan, but the “protecting” part, too.

Finally, the competition served as a team-building exercise. Police Sgt. Joey Hann, organizer of the event, explained its significance:

“We had fun, and we all competed very seriously, but the second that match was over, we were shaking hands and hugging. We’re friends, brothers and sisters in law enforcement; so we were able to compete, take it seriously, but then go back to being family again.”

There is no doubt police and firefighters work together to handle whatever situations they roll up to 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They must do so quickly and effectively as lives can hang in the balance. This type of bonding experience can only enhance their interpersonal and professional relationships and improve their already impressive response in the field.

Check out a gallery of photos from the event below.

Who won, you ask?

Everyone involved and Special Olympics Missouri.