BY WIL CREWS
Saturday, June 17, children ages 5 to 18 are invited to play flag football with the Opelika Police Department (OPD) at its annual Together Opelika Game On event.
The purpose of the event is to build positive relationships between local law officials and youth.
“We [the Opelika Police Department] know how important it is for officers to connect with our youth to build relationships,” said Allison Duke, community relations administrator for OPD. “Through those relationships we can build trust, which will hopefully have a positive impact on the child and give them the courage to do what is right as they get older. They see officers at events, at school and out in the community, so this is just one more way to bring them together in a more casual setting.”
The annual Game On event is free and brought to the community in partnership with the RaZor Foundation, a local nonprofit. Founded in 2020 by Auburn native and former Alabama football player Alan “Rashaan” Evans, the RaZor Foundation aims to teach young adults critical life skills.
“This is our third annual Game On event in partnership with the RaZor Foundation, which allows kids to interact with law enforcement in a fun and engaging way,” Duke said.
The annual Game On event will take place at Opelika High School and is open to the public, and all skill sets. Day-of registration opens at 8 a.m.; children 7 and under play at 9 a.m.; children 8 and older play at 10 a.m.; and lunch will be served at 11 a.m. Online registration is available at www.eventbrite.com/e/together-opelika-game-on-flag-football-day-2023-tickets-630417484667.
“In 2021 we hosted a flag football game, and in 2022 we hosted a soccer game,” Duke said. “We are excited to return to Opelika High School Bulldog Stadium for flag football again this year.
“Officers and personnel from the Opelika Police Department swap their uniforms for athletic wear and take the field with boys and girls ages 5 to 18 for a morning of fun. Not only do the kids get to interact with law enforcement, but they also get to interact with a diverse group of kids and learn about teamwork. Any skill set is welcome to join.”