JOPLIN, Mo. — A benefit basketball game, supporting Joplin’s students in need, is set to take place this weekend.

Bright Futures Joplin invites area residents to attend the fifth annual, “Guns & Hoses” basketball game fundraiser in support of Joplin’s students in need, as well as Joplin’s first responders.

The benefit basketball game, scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday (4/30), pits the Joplin Police Department against the Joplin Fire Department as they compete for a traveling trophy.

The game will take place at the Joplin High School Gym (2104 Indiana) and local celebrity players will round out the two teams.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are free for kids and students, and $5.00 for adults.

Before tipoff, Bright Futures Joplin representatives will announce a new fundraising opportunity developed in
memory of Joplin Police Department officers Ben Cooper and Jake Reed.

Both Cooper and Reed recently lost their lives in the line of duty, so Bright Futures Joplin has committed half of the proceeds from this year’s basketball fundraiser toward scholarships in their name.

The annual scholarships will be given to two Joplin High School graduates each year who plan to enter the Criminal Justice program at Missouri Southern State University.

Recognition will also be given to retired JPD officer Michael Gayman, who played in previous Guns & Hoses
benefit games, and passed away earlier this month.

A game jersey will be draped over an empty team chair on the sidelines in his memory.

The 5th annual “Guns & Hoses” benefit basketball game flyer.

“Our goal with this event is to shine a light on everything Bright Futures tries to accomplish all year long, while having a great time with our local first responders,” said Bright Futures Joplin Coordinator, Sarah Coyne.

“Bringing the community together to support Joplin’s students and families is our whole mission, so Guns & Hoses is really a great way to see it all on display,” Coyne Continued.

Funds from the Guns and Hoses basketball fundraiser will support all initiatives of Bright Futures Joplin, helping to provide the basic necessities every child needs in order to do their best at school.

“Fundraising from this one night will be used in the donation center to provide things like coats, shoes,
underwear, school supplies, shampoo and deodorant. Without these basics, many of our kids aren’t able to thrive at school, and would even rather drop out than continue pushing forward in such a state of hardship,” said Coyne.

Funds will also support Snack Packs, which feed about 400 Joplin elementary and middle school students each weekend during the school year.

Snack Packs are filled with shelf stable foods to fill in the Friday through Sunday gap until kids can return to the stability of school breakfasts and lunches.

“For some of our students, Snack Packs are the only food they have access to on the weekend,” Coyne said.

In addition to the basketball game, the event will also include a silent auction of themed baskets, halftime and timeout games, prizes, food trucks, concessions, donation opportunities and more.

In-person donations will also be accepted at the event.

People of all ages are invited to cheer for their hometown heroes and make sure Joplin’s students have what they need to achieve brighter futures.

Bright Futures Joplin is a grassroots, community-based program which helps students achieve success by
matching student needs with resources via community partnerships.

The Bright Futures framework was started in Joplin in 2010, and has since been implemented in more than 70 communities nationwide.

More details about the program and its initiatives are available HERE, or by calling 417-625-5200 ext. 2031.