Local law enforcement officers prep for fund-raising powder-puff football game
The women of local law enforcement agencies will be taking their aggressive stance on crime to the athletic field next week during the first-ever powder puff charity football game.
The “City Slickers,” made up of the Cape Coral and Fort Myers agencies, are set to square off against the Lee County Sheriff’s Office “County Mounties” on April 13 at Fort Myers High School, at 2635 Cortez Blvd., Fort Myers.
The game will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“I think it’s important we do things for our community, especially for good causes like (Relay for Life),” said CCPD Sgt. and City Slickers’ wideout Georgeann Lytle.
Lytle said the players are primarily officers from the Cape and Fort Myers police departments, with one dispatcher from the Cape.
The day’s events will begin at 3 p.m. with children’s activities, food and police displays, said Cape police spokesperson Dyan Lee in a prepared statement released last week. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m.
The City Slickers’ cheerleaders, who by powder puff tradition are males, are mainly from Fort Myers, said Lytle.
“It’s a fun event,” said Sgt. Jeff Bernice, an 11-year Fort Myers Police Department officer and one of the team’s cheerleaders.
“We have two goals,” said Bernice. “For (attendees and players) to have fun, and to raise money for a good cause.”
On the roster to cheer on the female players are 15 male officers, he said. The cheerleaders plan to do a halftime routine with music while wearing skirts and wigs.
“We’re trying to be the class clowns,” said Bernice.
Other halftime events include a raffle drawing and a K-9 demonstration.
Bernice said that aside from Relay for Life, the team might give a portion of the proceeds to causes related to the recent passing of Mark Niedermeyer of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, who died of a heart attack during a county charity football game.
Melissa Monhollen, a four-year civilian clerk for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and defensive captain for the County Mounties, said she did not know Niedermeyer personally, but that the team had spoken about his recent passing.
“They’re still willing to play, because it is for charity,” said Monhollen of her teammates.
“I think it’s a great thing to do,” she said about playing for a charitable cause.
Monhollen said the County Mounties consists of 15 members, mostly correctional officers.
The sheriff’s office has had two other powder puff games in the past for the American Heart Association, and it raised at least $6,000 for the organization during those games, said Monhollen.
The cost for tickets to the game is $5 per person. Tickets can be purchased the night of the game, or in advance by calling Lytle at 677-9877 or by purchasing them at the Cape Coral Police Department.