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Guns ‘n’ Hoses: A Growing Tradition
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David Hungate, Dominion Images
In 2004, Gary Hostetter had an idea: Buy game jerseys for Roanoke Express hockey players and then auction them off right after the game, to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The result? Some 1,500 more people in attendance than average on a Sunday and raising $6,500. And the beginnings of a tradition now about to enter its 12th year.
The growth has been steady:
• With Express gone the second year, they moved the location to the Ice Station, bringing in 600 people.
• In its third year, Hostetter bought and raised money for jerseys with the pro hockey Vipers. Auctioning the items brought in 1,500 more people than average, with $6,500 raised.
• After the fourth year, when police and firemen began playing, attendance and donations rose.
• By the 10th year, the event brought in 6,400 people with $28,000 raised for MDA.
• In 2013 (the 11th year), they had nearly 7,000 people; $33,500 went to MDA.
All in all, some 40,000 people have attended the games with $170,150 raised for MDA. –LL