Boxing bash benefits needy families

By RICHARD LUKEN
Register Reporter

Register/Richard Luken
Among participants from the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Department and the Bourbon County Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) who will compete in next weekend’s Badge Bash for Christmas Cash in Uniontown are, from left, Logan Probasco, Blynn Hill, Jackie Fields, Sheriff Ron Gray, Mandy Lickteig, Jimmy Nichols, Chip More and Brad Rich.

Jimmy Nichols, not unlike most involved with law enforcement, knows the demands of his job require a level of physical fitness.
“I used to think I was in good shape,” Nichols said. “Then I tried boxing.”
Nichols works with the Bourbon County Corrections Emergency Response Team and the Bourbon County Jail. He speaks from a bit of hard-earned experience as a past participant in a local boxing tournament, the centerpiece of an annual athletic competition among emergency personnel in the area.
He’ll return to the ring next weekend for the Bourbon County Sheriff Department’s Badge Bash for Christmas Cash.
The Aug. 15 event kicks off at 3 p.m. at the Uniontown High School football field for an assortment of relay races, an obstacle course and tug-of-war.
The scene shifts next door to West Bourbon Elementary School at 7 o’clock for the boxing tournament.
Participants from at least four teams — Bourbon County sheriff’s deputies and CERT members, volunteer firefighters and Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies have signed on so far — will partake in three one-minute rounds of boxing.
The boxing is real, Nichols stressed, even to ample safety measures, 18-ounce boxing gloves, protective headgear and a referee.
“We had a couple of people taken aback at the intensity of the boxing matches last year,” Nichols said. “The guys really got after it. The punches still hurt.”
Unlike last year’s competition, where boxers went through a tournament, each participant will take part in only one match this time around.
“I boxed in two matches last year, and it about killed me,” Nichols said. “I don’t know how those boxers can do it round after round.”
Amid the real boxing will be a series of inflatable sumo wrestling matches, in which participants don blow-up suits and attempt to knock their opponents out of a designated ring.
The event is one of several fund raisers hosted by local law enforcement agencies to benefit needy families during the holiday season. Last year’s bash generated $4,500, a figure Nichols hopes to eclipse this year.
“We’ve gotten all kinds of calls asking when we were going to do it again,” he said. “What we’d really like to do is get more agencies involved so this can grow.”
Already this year, Bourbon County personnel have participated in a weightlifting competition and softball tournament which helped pay for a Big Brothers Big Sisters trip to Kansas City where 10 area youths attended a Kansas City T-Bones baseball game.
Nichols extended an open invitation to other law enforcement or fire protection agencies, including Allen County’s.
“We obviously know and work with a lot of the people from Allen County,” Nichols said, stressing friendships don’t end at the county line. “We’ve even been able to help out a couple of families from Allen County.”
Bourbon County Sheriff Ron Gray seconded the invite.
“I know the guys from Cherokee County had a great time last year,” Gray said. “That’s why they’re coming back.”
Tickets for the competition sell for $10 apiece and can be purchased at the Bourbon County Courthouse, 204 S. National in Fort Scott, or at the door the day of the competition.