All jokes about hose draggers and doughnut eating aside, there will be a big winner next Tuesday when the local police and fire heroes square off to play softball - MUFFY. No doubt Sheriff Mark Casteel and CFD Assistant Fire Chief Jim Fulwider have had a lot of fun leading up to this game. I suspect the mutual ribbing may even get worse this week, but these two guys with hearts of gold deserve a ton of credit for pulling this MUFFY fund-raiser together.

"Want to stop (the police) from scoring?" Fulwider deadpanned. "Throw out a doughnut."

It's been this way a few weeks now.

Some other classics from the fire folks?

If their eyes glaze over, how will we know if it's a heart attack or just doughnuts?

The fireman asks if his visitor wants to hear a joke about a policeman. The visitor replies that he is a policeman. The fireman doesn't skip a beat. "OK, then I'll tell it really slow."

And from the police?

Warning? You want a warning? OK, I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you a second ticket.

If you run, you'll only go to jail tired.

The two sides aren't alone in this though. Support for this game has been outstanding. Jeff Nelson, a nearly 30-year resident of Crawfordsville via South Dakota, has volunteered a huge amount of time and effort.

Great local businesses like Skaggs & Largent Screenprint & Design, Image Sales and Hawg Wild have jumped in and helped MUFFY as well.

Some of the non-profit agencies are also.

The list goes on.

Why are so many people helping in so many ways?

Because it's an important year for non-profits. Times have been tough and that always cuts into charitable giving. Another reality is that Crawfordsville and Montgomery County doesn't have the same size workforce it did not too long ago. Throw in the debacle with AHEAD, the national economy, fluctuating gas prices and overall unease and uncertainty and it all equals rough times. A lot of very good people are stepping up this year to turn that around.

Once again, why?

Because it makes a difference. Not in Indianapolis. Not in Washington, D.C. But right here. In Crawfordsville. In Ladoga. In Linden. New Ross, New Richmond. All over Montgomery County.

Charitable agencies have had to make do with less. That means some services have been cut back, others eliminated entirely. Same with staffs. It's not that the need isn't still there. If anything, the need is increasing. It's just that the resources to meet those needs aren't what they used to be.

You can help, too. If your employer hasn't offered you the chance to donate to MUFFY through work, ask about it. If they can't, go to and give there. Come out next Tuesday to the softball game. The price of your ticket, $5 for an individual or $10 per carload, all goes to MUFFY. Every penny. Spend some money while you're down there. It will go to MUFFY as well.

Earlier, I wrote that the police and fire folks are heroes. They truly are. And that's what it will take this year for MUFFY to be able to step up and help people all over Montgomery County, a heroic effort. Won't you be a hero, too?