McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

October 23, 2013

Aiding cancer fight: Enid FOP’s benefit softball tourney to help Susan Bench

ENID, Okla. — There will be something for everyone at this weekend’s Fighting with Sherry Ann Suttmiller Memorial Softball Tournament.

The annual tournament, held by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 144, will benefit Susan Bench, wife of EPD Detective Robin Bench.

The first game of the tournament will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at Kellet Ballpark.

Along with the softball games, there will be activities for kids, food, baskets and a bake sale. A silent auction, door prizes and raffles are planned. Items for raffle include two rifles and a certificate for a spray-in bedliner.

A special queen-sized quilt commemorating the county’s first responders also will be raffled off during the tournament.

April Lucas, who works as a call taker in the Enid 911 Center, spent about two months working on the quilt, with machine stitching donated by Jacque Wagner.

The quilt features patches and insignias from Enid police and fire departments, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop J, Enid/Garfield County Emergency Management and Life EMS.

Each member of the department, and their dispatchers, will sign the red, white and blue quilt.

Lucas said she spent about 21⁄2 months working on the quilt and the past six weeks getting signatures from all of the emergency responders.

Tickets for the quilt raffle are $2 and are now available at the Enid Police Department’s records office.

A Las Vegas trip, donated by Kyle Sweet, also is up for raffle. It includes a four-day, three-night stay at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with airfare, room and board paid for two people. Sweet also donated a day-spa trip.

Last summer, Susan Bench was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and had undergone a double mastectomy. She also has undergone chemotherapy.

In 2010, the “Fight with SAS” tournament was organized to benefit Sherry Ann Suttmiller and her family in her battle with pancreatic cancer.

Before Sherry passed away May 23, she told her husband, EPD Officer Jeff Suttmiller, she wanted the tournament to continue and for the FOP to continue to help people fight cancer.

Donations to Susan Bench can be made at Security National Bank to the FOP Softball Tournament fund or contact Sgt. Justin Hodges at epdtraffic818 @yahoo.com or (580) 616-7034.

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