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State Attorney’s Office to host Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Softball Tournament

By Staff | Apr 20, 2016

An annual tournament will feature local law enforcement and raise funds for a regional organization.

The State Attorney’s Office Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Softball Tournament will be held Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers. Initiated in 2003, the competition will include an upper and a lower division title, with over a dozen agencies participating.

Samantha Syoen, the spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, explained that State Attorney Stephen Russell founded the event when he first took office for law enforcement and their families.

“He wanted to offer all elements of law enforcement a free day of fun,” she said.

Nearly 400 law enforcement members – men and women – have signed up teams to compete.

“All the proceeds go to (Southwest Florida) Crime Stoppers,” Syoen said.

Every year, the tournament raises about $10,000 for the organization.

As of Tuesday, approximately $13,000 had already been raised.

“It’s one of only two fundraisers that Crime Stoppers has all year long,” she said.

“Crime Stoppers is an important organization for the State Attorney’s Office,” Syoen added.

In addition to the softball competition, the event will feature activities, raffles and more.

“There’s no charge for admission,” she said. “The whole thing is for everybody.”

There will be carnival-style games for children – all free.

“We have a good bevy of games,” Syoen said.

There will also be sponsor booths, with some of them setting up activities.

Around $10,000 worth of prizes have been donated for the raffles.

“There’s so many,” she said of the number of items.

There are big ticket items available like cruises, a vacation on Sanibel and a $3,000 diamond and sapphire necklace, along with smaller items like gift cards and sports gear, such as a kayak.

“It’s $1 each for the raffle tickets,” Syoen said.

You do not have to be present to win.

There is a grand prize raffle, which features a four-day, three-night all-expenses-paid trip to Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, located in the Bahamas. The raffle tickets for the island trip are $5 each.

“So you have the chance to take home something pretty phenomenal,” she said.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office will have its SWAT and K-9 units on site.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

“People can come out and meet the men and women who risk their lives every day to protect the community,” Syoen said. “You get to see the different members of law enforcement and meet them.”

The complex is at 14100 Ben C. Pratt Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers.