The BackStoppers’ Guns ‘N Hoses annual charity fight night has been supporting the families of fallen first responders for more than 30 years.
The first event took place in 1987, when several of St. Louis’ most powerful and influential people organized a “city-versus-county” charity boxing event featuring firefighters and police officers, with proceeds donated to the families of those lost in the line of duty.
Driven by a strong desire to help the families of fallen heroes, Guns ‘N Hoses has evolved into a must-attend, perennially sold-out event, held annually on the evening before Thanksgiving. 2019’s installment at Enterprise Center had more than 18,000 fans in attendance and raised more than $900,000 for a great cause.
November’s windfall brought the running total of contributions to over $8,500,000.
Shamrock FC founder and president Jesse Finney is a volunteer board member for the annual event. The former professional mixed martial arts athlete, who recently celebrated his 21st year of promoting professional MMA events, joined forces with Guns ‘N Hoses about six years ago.
“It’s an honor to lend a hand to such an important cause that we care deeply about at Shamrock FC,” Finney says. “First responders are true heroes, and our team is grateful for the opportunity to help give back.
“This event is a classic every year, and just getting bigger and giving more back. Thanksgiving is even more special for us because of this event.”
With the help of Shamrock FC’s infrastructure, influence and manpower, and the cooperation of FITE (one of Shamrock FC’s broadcast partners), Guns ‘N Hoses is now seen by more and more fight fans every year, with the quality of entertainment improving annually.
“It’s very humbling to be able to use Shamrock FC as a way to give back to the community, which is something we’ve always felt strongly about,” Finney says. “We’re honored to be a part of this event, and we couldn’t be more excited about the future.”
Finney’s and Shamrock FC’s contributions have been much appreciated by Guns ‘N Hoses executive director Steve Holley.
“Jesse is a force in the combat sports world. He’s provided his expertise in running a professional sports franchise, and so much more to help Guns ‘N Hoses grow and help support more families. Jesse and his team at Shamrock FC are a pleasure to work with, and are very important to the success of our annual event.”