Marilyn Hash is a long-time police volunteer who has touched the hearts of many, including Officers Brian Lynch and Dustin Lobdell of the Black Diamond and police departments.
Particularly poignant for them is the fact that she is also a cancer survivor, having battled five different bouts of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma since her first diagnosis in November 2000. Her story inspired the men to set up The Law Dawgs, a Relay for Life team four years ago. "She's fought cancer for like, the last 10 years," Lynch said. "So we decided we wanted to come together as police officers and raise money for cancer research."
Each year, The Law Dawgs struggled to collect even $1,000 to $2,000 for their team, and Lynch said he was tired of the low numbers. So last year, a charity basketball game pitting police against fire was organized - in it's first year, the event netted The Law Dawgs $10,000.
"We had never raised anything more than $3,000 in a year," Lynch said. "We rank second among all the teams in the Enumclaw area for raising money last year."
Attendance-wise, roughly 400 people attended the match up between police and firefighters of .
Lynch hopes to meet, if not surpass both the attendance and fundraising amounts this year, but he's cognizant that times are tough all around. He's also taking advantage of social media and new media to help spread the word: keep your eyes peeled for a commercial on ECTV Channel 21 soon promoting the event in June.
Enumclaw and Black Diamond police officers will be joined by various officers from around the area including Auburn, Bonney Lake, Kent and even the Department of Corrections. Lynch explained that since Fire District 28 had a much larger pool of volunteer players to pull from, the police team needed some reinforcements of its own.
The sudden loss of of Enumclaw police earlier this year inspired several more officers to sign up. "We have guys that have stepped up that volunteered to come play that didn't play last year -- guys that want to be a part of raising the money and be a part of walking for the relay," Lynch said. "It's a little bit more tangible for us now; we've actually felt the pain of losing somebody in our own family. It's making us play a little harder."
Which they'll need to do if they are to avenge their loss to the fire team last year. "We plan on stepping up and actually taking the trophy this year," Lynch said.
Those interested in donating to The Law Dawgs, as well as businesses interested in sponsorships of the event, can find more information at www.bootsandbadges.com.
"Those businesses that give at least $100 will be on our website as sponsored businesses," Lynch said. "They'll be in the program at the event and are going to be mentioned throughout the event by the MC."
The game takes place on June 11 at the Enumclaw High School gym.