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May 23, 2008
Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer


Fundraising efforts are in full swing and so far have run the gamut, from a spaghetti luncheon and hot dog sale to a flea market yard sale, Mother’s Day basket raffle and an indoor arena football game. And additional events are just around the corner, giving residents several more opportunities to get behind this year’s Battle of the Badges festival to benefit the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches. And just as last year, this year’s events will culminate in an inshore fishing tournament and family funfest in New Smyrna Beach. The 2007 funfest raised $115,000 for the Youth Ranches. The VCSO Charity Committee, which organizes the annual charity event, hopes to do even better this year. “Community support is the key to building on last year’s success,” said Sheriff Ben Johnson. “We’ve added new features this year, expanded the fishing tournament and have come up with new ways for the public to enjoy the event and show their support for a very worthy cause. There truly is something here for everyone.” 

The Battle of the Badges Family Funfest & Inshore Fishing Tournament is slated for Sept. 19-21 at Riverside Park in New Smyrna Beach. In addition to the fishing tournament, which has been expanded to two days this year, there also will be food, vendors, midway games, live music, law enforcement demonstrations, music and more. All of the money raised by the event goes to support the non-profit Youth Ranches, which provides programs across the state to help thousands of underprivileged and at-risk children. “The money will help ensure that the safety net continues to be there for those who need it the most,” said Sheriff Johnson, who plays host to the annual fundraiser. 

The VCSO Charity Committee has organized a series of fundraisers leading up to the main event in September. Most recently, a Public Safety Family Day held in conjunction with a Daytona Beach ThunderBirds football game raised $1,000. A raffle for a Mother’s Day basket raised another $900. Meanwhile, the public can join in the fun by participating in any of the following upcoming events: 

Softball Tournament:                 June 20-21
at Buttleman’s Sports Complex in Ormond Beach

Bowling Tournament:                June 28 
at the Sunshine Bowling Center in DeLand

Fishing Tournament:                 Sept. 19-21

5K Family Fun Run/Walk:         Sept. 21 
in New Smyrna Beach

More information about sponsoring the Battle of the Badges Family Funfest & Inshore Fishing Tournament, participating in the upcoming events or registering for the fishing tournament can be obtained by visiting the event web site at 

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