Ducking, diving and dodging for charity

dwitte@losbanosenterprise.comApril 11, 2014 

Near-misses, head shots, and a tired old man facing off against a group of teenagers.

Nope, it’s not the plot of a Clint Eastwood movie. It was the scene of the fourth-annual Los Banos Dodgeball Tournament on Saturday at Oliveira Park, an event put on by Knowledge Saves Lives.

The event raises money for Children’s Hospital Central California in Madera County and featured teams from Riggs Ambulance Service, the Los Banos Police Department, the Merced County Sheriff Department, the Los Banos Fire Department, teams made up of state corrections officers and federal corrections officers, and teams from Dos Palos High School, Hilmar High School and Gavilan College in Gilroy battling in a 60-foot-by-25-foot cage.

The Handfuls (team captain Jordan Cortez) won the 14-team tournament, with Vital Signs (the Riggs Ambulance Service team) placing second and Premier Pool & Spa (team captain Travis Loebig) in third.

The event also included a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia and a shooting contest to win an X-Box 1, where competitors tried to bounce a dodgeball into a trash can 60 feet away.

“"This event is something my staff and I work very hard on and we appreciate the support and donations from the Los Banos community for such a great cause,” said event organizer Paul Llanez in a written statement. “We also would like to thank the participants of the tournament who make this event so competitive and fun to watch."

Organizers said donations are still coming in, so they don’t know yet how much was raised for Children’s Hospital.

Checks can still be written to Children’s Hospital of Central California and sent to KSL Inc. at P.O. Box 1366, Los Banos, CA., 93635 before April 20. A check presentation will be made to Children’s Hospital in the coming weeks.

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