DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Knapp Center was packed with Drake Bulldog fans on Saturday as they watched the men’s basketball team take on Evansville.
More than 100 local service members were invited to the game as part of Drake University's annual Hometown Heroes event.
“With the rash of officer involved shootings and we know the stresses they're under, as well our firefighters, first responders, and military," said Ty Patton a Drake spokesman. "We felt like we needed to show our appreciation to them."
Connie Pitcher is an EMS worker in Slater and a part of the Hometown Heroes event. The university gave Pitcher and her family free admission to the game as well as pre-game activities like shooting hoops and arts and crafts.
"It’s fantastic. I think it is a really great way to show be blue supporting the blue, and everyone else," Pitcher said.
Pitcher has been an EMS for years, and says this event also honors the men and women who have died in the line of duty.
“Coming together and being a support for not just the university, but also for all the members who are serving and putting themselves out there," Pitcher said.
The goal is to give service members an opportunity to get their minds off of the daily stresses of work.