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UPDATED: ‘Western State Police & Fire Games' held June 13-20

Posted: May 21, 2009 5:37 p.m.
Updated: June 12, 2009 3:49 p.m.

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The city of Santa Clarita and Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station proudly welcome more than 5,000 police, sheriff, and fire personnel from 417 emergency public service agencies to the Santa Clarita Valley June 13-20 for the 2009 "Western States Police and Fire Games" (WSPFG).

Many participants have already arrived in Santa Clarita and others are on their way, some from as far away as New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Florida, and still others from the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

All told, more than 10,000 participants and their family members are expected in town for the games, including nearly 500 from the Los Angeles Police Department, more than 350 from the California Department of Corrections, and over 100 from the San Francisco Police Department.

The participants will compete in more than 50 individual sporting events, including boxing, baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and swimming, just to name a few. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Athletic Association (LASAA) is the proud sponsor of the games.

"Let's be the best host city ever! Come on out and get involved with supporting these top notch athletes in VERY competitive sporting events or attend one of the many social functions and welcome our public service neighbors," said Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

All the events and functions are FREE for the public to attend and are sure to offer some great competition and entertainment.

The games are filled with many side stories, such as the story of "Wongs" Softball Team and Deputy Robert "Bobby" Corrales. The "Wongs" team, made up of Deputy Sheriff's from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, was a dominate and feared softball team for more than 15 years, winning gold, silver, and bronze medals at a number of events in several states while participating in the Police and Fire Games and other events.

They shared all their successes with their dominate leader Bobby Corrales, known by many and his teammates as "Papa Wong." Bobby, a veteran Deputy Sheriff, spent 24 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and lost a hard fought battle with leukemia on April 23, 2009.

The former Wong team members, now further along in their careers, all got together and decided to come out of retirement and participate in the Santa Clarita games in memory of Bobby. They will take the field on Sunday, June 14, for the first time without Bobby at 4:45 p.m. at Central Park.

The team members could have entered in the "Senior" category, but instead opted to enter into the "Open" category to face the best in young softball talent and competition, and to show complete respect for the "Wongs" team that Bobby was so much a part of. The team intends to honor Bobby's family at the event and will wear a patch with Bobby's retired number on it, Bobby "Papa Wong" Corrales - #11.

This is a story you are surely going to want to follow and be a part of. Go Wongs!

"This is for Bobby," said Wongs team member Randy Levinson. "He battled in life and everything he was a part of. He is known, loved, and respected by all those in the law enforcement softball world and beyond. Bobby gave 24 years of service to the residents of Los Angeles County and fought leukemia until the very end. The least we can do is represent Bobby and fight as hard as we can in this open division. Bobby wouldn't want or expect any less from us!"

For complete information on the 2009 Western States Police and Fire Games visit their Web site at wspfg2009.org/. See you at the games!

MORE INFORMATION ON THE GAMES

Community Events Open to Residents
Numerous entertainment events are scheduled to take place as part of the WSPFG during the evenings, providing opportunities for residents and competitor's family members to enjoy the community and its diverse offerings.

Highlights for the week and opportunities for the community and residents to get involved with the games include the following:

My Classic Rock Band will be playing at Hyatt Regency Valencia opening day Saturday, June 13.

Bodybuilding is expected to attract hundreds of spectators Sunday, June 14, at the College of the Canyons, Performing Arts Center.
Boxing is always a crowd pleaser and one of the WSPFG's most anticipated events. Boxing is schedule to take place Monday, June 15, Tuesday, June 16, Wednesday, June 17, and Friday, June 19 at Santa Clarita Studios.

Tuesday night, June 16 the community is invited to rock out at an outdoor free concert on Town Center Drive in front of the Hyatt Regency Valencia featuring classic rock band, Ace from 5:30 PM until 9:30 PM. Ace has been voted by Los Angeles Magazine as Los Angeles' #1 "live" dance band in Southern California.

Thursday night, June 18 is "Law Enforcement and Firefighter Night" at Saddle Ranch Chop House in Universal City.

Get Involved
There are many ways for residents and businesses to get involved with the 2009 Western States Police & Fire Games, including exciting volunteer opportunities for adults 18 and older.

Volunteer opportunities include registration, merchandise sales, score keeping, timekeeping, logistical and operational support. Volunteers receive a free T-shirt and lunch.

Business can also be a part of the Games, with visibility at the registration expo and through sponsorship opportunities.

Volunteers and business owners interested in learning more should call (323) 526-5757 or visit WSPFG2009.org for more information.

Santa Clarita Background
Santa Clarita offers visitors the quintessential California experience. Abundant sunshine, a unique blend of urban sophistication and small town charm, historic elements, destination dining, signature shopping and a variety of world-class events, attractions and accommodations for all ages have made Santa Clarita a must see when visiting Southern California. As Santa Clarita is just minutes from Los Angeles and Ventura it makes it a great central location to experience all the region offers.

Background about the WSPFG
The WSPFG originated in 1967 as the California Police Olympics, but in the decades that followed branched out to include other states and the inclusion of the Fire Department. Since its inception the games have grown tremendously and have been hosted in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming among other states.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Athletic Association is responsible for sponsoring the 2009 event, in association with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the County of Los Angeles, the city of Santa Clarita, the William S. Hart Union School District, and College of the Canyons.

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