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Lebanon police, attorneys have a ball at benefit for Bobby Harris

Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Mar 4, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Law and order squared off Saturday in a matchup between Lebanon police officers and local attorneys to benefit Bobby Harris, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last year.

The benefit basketball game between Lebanon police officers [the Peace Keepers] and local attorneys [the Legal Eagles] tipped off at noon at Castle Heights Elementary School and ended in heartbreak for the Peace Keepers, who were handed a 53-29 loss.

All proceeds from the event go directly to the Harris family to help pay medical expenses.

Before game time a full house packed in to take in the game and a few pre-game festivities, which included door prizes, performances by cheerleaders and special guest country music singer Daryle Singletary, who sang the “National Anthem.” Bobby and his twin brother, Johnny, also took to center court to dance with mascots and cheerleaders to entertain the crowd.

John Harris, Bobby’s dad, also addressed the cheering crowd prior to the game and thanked the outpouring of support the family has received from the community, police, lawyers and the schools.

John then handed the microphone off to Bobby to share news he had recently received from his doctors.

“I’m cancer-free!” Bobby said to a crowd that erupted with claps, cheers and chants.

Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen said he was thrilled with the turnout for the afternoon’s festivities, which he estimated to have brought in more than 250 people.

“Obviously we’re devastated we didn’t win, but Bobby and his family are the real winners here,” Bowen said. “I can’t say enough about the turnout and everyone involved. My guys really enjoy doing stuff like that and everyone seems to have had a good time and talked about how great it was.

“To the people that played, the sponsors and everyone that came out, I can’t say enough about the wonderful community of people we live in,” Bowen said.

Bowen said he spoke to Bobby’s family afterward, who shared their gratitude for the support for the event.

“Bobby is real special to us and touched a lot of us in the police department,” Bowen said. “It’s great to see him come out and smile and move forward and back toward normal life and hopefully back into day-to-day things now that he’s cancer-free.”

Bowen said he had also spoke with city attorney and captain of the Legal Eagles, Andy Wright, about possibly making the benefit basketball game an annual event. However, he attributed this year’s Peace Keepers loss to his guys being “used to a different style of basketball.”

“They’re not used to officials and refs and all that; I think they’re more used to a ‘no blood, no foul’ style of play and when they started calling fouls early, that threw us off,” Bowen said. “But congrats to Andy and his team. They played a wonderful game, and I think everyone enjoyed it and had a great time.

“I think a lot of heating pads and Bengay was used by both sides after the fact,” Bowen joked.

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