PARIS — Children’s baseball and softball clinics will be a new feature Sunday at an annual benefit softball game.

The clinics will take place before a police-verses-fire-departments game at Gouin Field. That game will begin after a 4 p.m. home run derby. Proceeds will benefit the Rape Education and Crisis Hotline, a support service for victims of sexual abuse.

Tickets to the game are $3 for adults, and admission is free for children 12 and under. Refreshments will also be available for purchase.

Suzanne Dunham, administrative assistant at REACH, says firefighters from five departments will face off against players from five police departments. The police team has won every contest since the benefit game started in 2007. This year, the losing team must wash the emergency vehicles of the winning team.

“The fire departments have really been working on it, so they have high hopes that they’re going to win this year,” Dunham said.

Players from the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School baseball and softball teams will run the children’s clinics from 2 to 4 p.m., with help from the police and fire departments. The clinics are open to boys and girls, with workshops for grades two through five, and grades six through eight.

The clinics will teach baseball skills such as hitting, fielding and teamwork. The cost is $7, and $5 for additional children from the same family. Participants will get a free T-shirt and admission to the police-verses-fire-departments game.

“If someone can’t afford it, we do have some scholarships available so they wouldn’t have to pay the $7,”  Dunham said.

Those interested in the clinics may sign up the day of the game, though REACH asks that the office be notified by phone at 743-9777, or e-mail at [email protected]. Registration forms can be picked up at the Norway town office, REACH office, or police stations in Norway, Paris and Oxford.

Matt Boutwell, a radio personality with the sports radio station 96.3 Big Jab, will throw the first pitch at the game. John Williams, executive director of the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce who also has a show on Big Jab, will be the announcer for the game.

Dunham said Modern Woodmen of America will match any funds raised at this year’s event. She said the game has become popular with the police and fire departments.

“The entire year they banter back and forth,” she said. “That’s what’s so funny about this. They really enjoy this.”

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