Competing for a cause: Yukon, El Reno fire departments meet on basketball court

Yukon triumphs but winning isn’t what the game is all about

The Yukon and El Reno Fire Departments came together on the basketball court Sunday to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Firefighters have stood on the front lines for MDA for 60 years, according to MDA’s website, mda.org. The Fill the Boot campaign, in which firefighters hit the streets to collect donations in their boots, also benefits MDA.

This is the third year Yukon and El Reno Fire Departments came together for the basketball game to continue to find alternative ways of raising money because they want to do more than just Fill the Boot. The game was at Yukon Middle School, 801 Garth Brooks Blvd., and it was the first year the game was hosted in Yukon.

“It went great. Both departments did a great job putting everything together,” Yukon Fire Department Corporal Ryan Billingsley said. “We always have fun doing it.”

Billingsley said events like the basketball game with other fire departments are beneficial to the fire departments, as well as MDA.

“We run mutual aid with El Reno and we have to work together a lot, same with all departments around us really,” he said. “If we can get to know each other and do extra activities and charity events together, it just brings in comradery even better and that makes things work on scene even better whenever we’re friends and know each other. And it’s always for a good cause.”

Yukon had 10 firefighters on their team. Nine players, and one coach. The firefighters on duty also came to watch.

Yukon won the game, but that’s not what it was about.

“Just getting together with the guys, I know a lot of the El Reno guys and they’re all good guys. We all have fun and playing basketball is fun, even though I’m not the best at it,” Billingsley said. “We all have a blast. We’re all very completive, but it’s all love at the end.”

Billingsley said the crowd was decent, and about as much as they can expect.

“It’s Sunday afternoon and NFL season so you can’t expect a whole lot, but it was a good turnout for us. For a bunch of firemen trying to play basketball at least,” he said.

Yukon and El Reno Fire Departments added the money each department raised from Fill the Boot together then will add the money raised at the basketball game to present to MDA together.

The total amount raised was not yet available Monday. Billingsley said he was still waiting on the final amount.

El Reno Fire Department officials were unavailable for comment Monday.

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