MIAMISBURG — Firefighters and EMS workers from all over the state are being sought for Hunks and Ladders’ Firefighter Combat Challenge, part of an extended charity competition. 15 finalists will be featured in a 2017 calendar with sales benefiting the Miami Valley Firefighter/EMS Memorial Association, the Pink Ribbon Girls, and A Special Wish. The Combat Challenge will take place at Austin Landing (10050 Innovation Way #100) on Saturday, June 25 from 4:30 – 10:30 p.m.
The event is family friendly and open to the public, with a DJ as well as live music, refreshments, and a raffle. K99.1 FM’s Nancy Wilson will host. Partipating firefighters and EMS workers will compete in an obstacle course and pitted against each other in strength challenges before audience and celebrity judges.
“This is about having fun and giving the crowd an entertainment experience, and raising money for a good cause,” said Jake Preston, emergency recovery coordinator for Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling, a Dayton company that sponsors Hunks and Ladders. “We’d like to have guys from every county fill out the application and come try out with us. We want this to be inclusive and that means seeing every part of Ohio represented, and the citizens they serve supporting them and some worthy charities.”
2015’s calendar, sold at $15 each, raised over $6,000, which was divided among the selected organizations.
New Carlisle fire lieutenant Eldon Adamson was in the 2015 calendar and is returning to claim a spot in the next one. “In January of last year,” he said, “I was about 300 pounds. When I heard this calendar was looking for applicants, I started going to the gym, training, dieting, and by the event in June of last year, I’d cut down to 225 pounds and I made it into the calendar. It surprised me to make it that far. I had a lot of fun and sold a ton of calendars for the charities. It felt good to be able to give back like that.”
Miami Valley 1832 firefighter and personal trainer Brian Scott is competing for his third time, and ranked second in last year’s competition. “There are a lot of guys,” he said, “who might think, ‘Oh, I don’t look like the other guys who’ve been in the calendar or in the event pictures,’ but it doesn’t matter, and it’s a good way to stay in shape. Come out, have a good time. It’s all for charity.”
Scott and Adamson, in particular, are locked in competition with one another. Adamson said, “We’ve got a bit of a rivalry going, and we trash talk and say we’re going to come in looking better than the other, and we’re going to beat the other one. It’s all in good fun.”
“Even with all the competition, though,” he said, “it’s a great time and you’re going to meet a lot of good people. I made probably 20 friends from last year’s competition that I’m still friends with today. I’ve trained with several of them now, I’ve helped other ones train, they’ve trained me. It’s been a very good experience for all of us.”
Interested firefighters and EMS workers can find 2016’s application at hunksandladders.org, or call 937-436-3411 for more information.