Practice your moves and get ready to dodge. It's time to get out on the court and put yourself on the line for Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.).
The Osage Beach Police Department and the School of the Osage have teamed up to host a dodgeball tournament to raise money for the D.A.R.E. program taught at Osage, which educates children how to make wise choices in their lives.
"D.A.R.E. teaches students about drugs and alcohol, everyday life situations, making good choices and choosing good friends. One of the biggest things I encourage the students I teach is how there are so many different ways to do things without the drugs and alcohol," said Osage Beach Patrolman and D.A.R.E. instructor Michael Hutzler.
The Osage Beach Police Department and the School of the Osage inaugural D.A.R.E. Dodgeball Tournament has been set for Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the high school gymnasium.
A good portion of the proceeds raised at the dodgeball tournament will come from entry fees, and event organizer, Hutzler is hopeful that turnout will be big. He said the department is putting a team together and will partake in the action as well.
Entry fees for a team of six players is $60, and spectators are welcome to watch the action for free, however, donations are welcome. Concessions will be available and there will also be a silent auction as well to help support the program.
Registration forms are available at the Osage Beach Police Department. Forms must be turned in to the police department with entry fee no later than April 26 to be guaranteed a spot. Final registration will be the morning of the tournament at 9 a.m.
D.A.R.E. has been taught at School of the Osage for nearly 25 years. At this time, the D.A.R.E. program is supported by the Osage Beach Police Department and only offered to fifth-grade students at Osage. Officer Hutzler and Officer Rick Arnall teach the program to seven classes.
"This is our only fundraiser for D.A.R.E.," Hutzler said. "There are a lot of things I want to do to expand the program, but it just cost money. Right now we only teach the fifth-graders, but they teach us curriculum for middle school and even high school students."
With assistance from the community, the police department would like to be able to raise enough money to expand the program to middle schoolers and design a D.A.R.E. car to help spread the message of D.A.R.E.
The fifth-graders will take to the court for a tournament to kick-off the fundraiser at 9 a.m., and a high school tournament organized by Osage High School's National Honor Society and T.I.E.S. group will follow. A community tournament will then start after the high school tournament.
Participants must be at least 17 years of age to play in the community dodgeball tournament. Standard dodgeball rules will apply. Trophies will be awarded to the winning teams at the end of the tournament.
Event organizers are looking for businesses to sponsor a fifth grade team for the event. Contact Officer Hutzler regarding sponsorships.
If you're not up for being a participant in the game, be sure to come out and support the Osage Beach Police Department as they take on the community in a friendly game of dodgeball so they can continue to make the D.A.R.E program apart of our community.
For more information about the event, contact Officer Hutzler at 573-302-2010 or 573-480-2446.