By Laura Adelmann, SunThisweek
April 23, 2015
Residents can vie against officers, firefighters at Fields of Fire
Lakeville police officers and firefighters will be involved in some heavy fire next month.
The public is invited to join them in paintball battles at the first Fields of Fire fundraiser 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 17 at MN Pro Paintball in rural Lakeville.
Admission is $50 per person and includes complete battle gear with a paintball gun, ammunition and goggles and 4.5 hours of paintball on multiple fields.
Several games will be played at once, and participants can join teams that include police officers and firefighters from Lakeville and many other local cities.
“It’s kind of a take on a golf tournament,” event organizer Shanen Corlett said. “You can come out as a team, you can come out as individuals and where the huge draw is and everybody’s really excited about is you get the opportunity to be on a team with police officers and firemen, here and Lakeville and the surrounding area.”
Pro Paintball requires players to be at least 12 years old to participate, but Corlett said every skill level is welcome.
“You don’t have to have any skill at all,” Corlett said. “Even if you are out in the first couple of minutes, in 12 minutes another round is going to start, and you’ll be on a completely new team, which will make it a lot of fun.”
MN Pro Paintball, located at 22554 Texas Ave., requires players to wear plants and long sleeves, such as camouflage gear or dark clothing that people do not mind getting dirty.
Players are to wear comfortable boots, cleats or sneakers and no jewelry since it can be lost or damaged.
It is recommended players dress for the weather but also bring extra clothing, bug spray and extra money for snacks.
The last battle will take place between Lakeville Police Chief Jeff Long and Lakeville Fire Chief Mike Meyer.
Net proceeds from the event will support the Lakeville Public Safety Foundation, a nonprofit Corlett recently formed to provide support and resources for Lakeville police and fire departments.
Corlett urged people to show support for the police officers and firefighters who risk their lives every day to keep others safe.
“Police, every day, they’re putting themselves in danger because they have no idea what they’re walking up to in a car … a house or building,” Corlett said. “And firefighters are the very people who will be having dinner with their family, or sound asleep in their bed and will wake up to go help a perfect stranger. I … don’t know that we as the public really truly understand what these two departments go through on a day-to-day basis. Just by supporting the Public Safety Foundation is another way you can say thank you.”
Although recently formed, the foundation has already been making a difference in the community.
The foundation has established a reward fund for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the individual or people responsible for leaving hot dog meat laced with poison and metal in dog owners’ yards that has seriously injured several Lakeville dogs.
Police say the hazardous bait may have contributed to the death of at least one of the dogs.
The fund, established at $500, has been built upon by the donations of citizens, increasing the reward to $2,000.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Mike Lamm at 952-985-4822.
Corlett said the foundation is also seeking to set up a consistent reward program for information that leads to the arrest of people who damage public property or mark it with graffiti.
“We’re still looking at the wants of both the departments … then we’ll start looking at fulfilling grant requests,” Corlett said.
In addition to the paintball game, the foundation is hosting the Police and Firemen’s Ball from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 11 at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club and the Sgt. Brigham Strole Memorial Golf Tournament at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 26 at Crystal Lake Golf Club.
The foundation is also being supported through the Taste of Lakeville. The Lakeville Rotary is selling 1,000 raffle tickets at $10 each, with the proceeds going to help fund the Police and Firemen’s Ball.
Participants have the opportunity to win $1,000, a 48-inch television, a Go Pro camera or a Twins basket with four game tickets. Raffle tickets are available for purchase from a Rotary member or a member of the Public Safety Foundation. Winners need not be present to win.
“The tickets are selling like hotcakes,” Corlett said. “Out of 1,000, we already have approximately 600-650 sold.”
The paintball event will go on rain or shine; to register for it, go to lpsfmn.org.
Police officers and firefighters from anywhere are also invited to play for a discounted rate of $35. Those tickets are purchased by calling Corlett at 612-799-8375 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.