It’s cops vs. kids in paint balloon combat

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By Randy Patrick


Police will be battling teenagers this Sunday, but it will all be in good fun and for a good cause.

Seniors from local high schools, along with active and retired law enforcement officers from the Nelson County Fraternal Order of Police, will be the main contestants in the Paint Balloon Showdown from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Nelson County Fairgrounds.

Patricia Longmire Photography is sponsoring the event, which will benefit Supporting Heroes and Law Enforcement United, two organizations that support the families of public safety officers who have died in the line of duty. Proceeds will also go to The Road to Hope, a bicycle ride next spring to support those two groups.

“With all of the chaos going on with the police around the country, I thought it would be a fun way for the police to interact with the community,” and it would give the kids something fun to do on a Sunday evening, said Patricia Longmire, who came up with the idea.

She said the original plan was to have the event in the summer, but then the community was troubled by the disappearance of Crystal Rogers during the July 4th weekend, and Nelson County Assistant Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa, president of the FOP, thought it would be better to wait. He wasn’t even sure he could provide enough officers at that time because of the search, she said.

Longmire said there will be several teams, and each team must have at least one high school senior. The winners of the contests that finish quickest will battle until the ultimate winner gets to play the police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

“It’s like messy dodge ball,” Longmire said.

Participants probably should wear old clothes that they don’t mind ruining, although the paint is supposed to be washable.

“It’s homemade paint made out of flour, cornstarch, food coloring and water. We wanted to make it biodegradable,” because the showdown will be outdoors, Longmire said.

There is a $10 entry fee, but participants may save $3 by downloading the app for Patricia Longmire Photography. There will also be a donation jar at the event.

“Hopefully, if we do this annually, we’ll have more sponsors,” Longmire said.