Firefighters and police officers are taking a break from their serious, lifesaving jobs to have a little fun, show off their soccer skills, and it's all for a great cause.
After some stretching and final warm-ups, it was time to kick off Kansas City's Unsung Heroes Soccer Tournament.
The soccer players hitting the field at Rockhurst University usually spend their days running into raging fires and chasing bad guys. But this weekend, police and firefighters from all over are battling each other on the soccer field.
"We have great time. That's what it's all about - having a great time," Kansas City firefighter Juan Olivas said.
The Unsung Heroes tournament travels from state to state. The money raised will go to SAFE – the Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund.
Olivas helped organize Kansas City's first time hosting the event.
"It's actually a great tool. It's pretty nice for us to know that if, heaven forbid, something happened to one of us, that our family will be taken care of," Olivas said. "It's a great foundation."
Michelle Marquez Zamora is one of the firefighter wives who said she's grateful the community is stepping up to support families like hers.
"We know the risk, but we just try and pray and think we are doing the best for everybody and, if it happens, at least we have a family to lean on in case that happens," she said.
But this weekend isn't about thinking of the worst that could happen. Kids in attendance were happy celebrating their parents' amazing talents.
"I think he's good at being a firefighter because he saves lives and does all the stuff that firefighters do…and we have a good bond together," Mateo Zamora said of his firefighter dad.
No matter who takes home the bragging rights, Olivas hopes the tournament becomes an annual tradition that's passed down.
"My goal is to stay involved and when I can't play the young guys on the job, I can just maybe coach them and continue to support this cause - Unsung Heroes," he said.
T-shirts and tickets sold at the gate support the SAFE fund and people can still come out show their support.
The tournament at Rockhurst University runs through Saturday. Click here for more on game times.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:44:29 GMT
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