SUNSET HILLS, MO- Fighters for the 33rd Annual Budweiser Guns 'N Hoses weighed in Tuesday night one day ahead of Wednesday's main event, when first responders from across the region will go head to head for three rounds.
Fifteen fights between police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel will be held at Enterprise Center in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 18,000 people. Money raised benefits The Backstoppers
, which supports families of first responders who have died or been catastrophically injured in the line of duty.
Seven first responders will be recognized this year for that sacrifice: Lakeshire Police Chief Wayne Neidenberg, Terre Du Lac Police Officer Adam King, St. Louis County Police Officer Mitch Ellis, Illinois State Trooper Nick Hopkins, North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf, Godfrey Fire Captain Jake Ringering, and Maryland Heights Firefighter/Paramedic Chris Moore.
Fox 2 spoke with Chief Steve Olshwanger of the Maryland Heights Fire Protection District at Tuesday's weigh in at Helen Fitzgerald's in Sunset Hills.
"We're very proud to be part of (Guns 'N Hoses) - for Chris, his family, his kids, and just to know that they'll be taken care of forever is a huge relief off everybody's shoulders," said Olshwanger.
Lt. Tony Schrempf of the Fenton Fire Protection District is competing in this year's Guns 'N Hoses in Moore's honor.
"All of us do this event for all the first responders that lose their lives in the line of duty, and this year, it kind of hit a little home because a close friend, Chris Moore from Maryland Heights, lost his life," said Schrempf. "What better reason to do this event than to do it for somebody that you actually know and help support their kids and their family?"
The support comes from all over, and in many forms. Chicago artist Mark Paul John, known as "The Freedom Artist," created an iconic piece of art in the wake of 9/11.
Since then, he has donated reprints to first responders around the world, including several departments in the St. Louis area.
"I'm on number 925 right now," said John.
The family of each fallen first responder will receive one as a gift. Each framed print has been signed by the first responders competing in this year's Guns 'N Hoses.
To date, Gun 'N Hoses has raised $7.6 million for The Backstoppers, which has supported more than 170 families in its 60 year history.
Fox 2/News 11 is the media sponsor for Guns 'N Hoses.
Click here to find a live stream of Guns 'N Hoses events on Wednesday. Events begin at 6:30 p.m.