Annual Guns & Hoses benefit game scores $32,000 for Bright Futures

Apr. 22—While the score favored Joplin firefighters at the seventh annual Guns & Hoses benefit basketball game on April 13, the win went to local students who will benefit from the fundraiser.

The Joplin Fire Department took a 51-47 victory over the Joplin Police Department, but the event brought in $32,000 to help students in need at Joplin schools, according to information released Monday by Bright Futures Joplin.

The money brought in this year set a fundraising record for the event.

"With our Snack Pack numbers higher than ever, we really needed to bring in more funds to cover the cost of weekend food and milk," said Bright Futures Joplin Executive Director Amanda Stone. "When we make that need known, our community never lets us down. We are so grateful for the sponsorships and donations, and to those who came to the game for such a great cause."

About $60,000 is needed to cover the cost of weekend food bags that are distributed to 620 students weekly, Stone said. An additional $65,000 is budgeted for immediate student needs such as weather-appropriate clothing, shoes, school supplies, hygiene items and other needs.

Some of the Bright Futures' proceeds also fund the Cpl. Ben Cooper and Officer Jake Reed Memorial Scholarships established in 2022 in honor of the officers killed in the line of duty. The scholarships from the fund will be awarded later this year to two Joplin High School graduates majoring in criminal justice at Missouri Southern State University, according to Stone.

Bright Futures Joplin is a grassroots, community-based program that helps students achieve success by matching student needs with resources provided by community partnerships.

Through the support of local businesses, faith-based organizations, social service agencies, volunteers and parents, Bright Futures' mission is to strengthen the community by facilitating a brighter future for all students. The Bright Futures framework was started in Joplin in 2010, and has since been implemented in more than 70 communities nationwide.

More details about the program and its initiatives are available at