During a press conference on Wednesday, May 20th at Tan-Tar-A Resort, Lagina Fitzpatrick, Director of Sales for the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association and member of the Lake of the Ozarks Can-Am Police-Fire Games Committee, announced that the Lake of the Ozarks has been selected as the host site for the 2018 Can-Am Police-Fire Games.
The Can-Am (Canadian-American) Games is an Olympic-style sporting event featuring over 50 different competitive categories including archery, basketball, cycling, fishing, golf, ice hockey, shooting, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling and many others. The Can-Am Games, which was started in 1977 to promote physical fitness and camaraderie among law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical service (EMS), protective services personnel and related agencies, is expected to bring 1,200 participants to the Lake from across the US and Canada. The 2018 Can-Am Police-Fire Games is slated for June 25 through July 1 and will take place throughout the entire Lake of the Ozarks area with Tan-Tar-A Resort serving as the host hotel.
"Hosting the Can-Am Games will have a huge economic impact for the Lake of the Ozarks of over $4 million and we look forward to working with the entire community on making the 2018 games a hugely successful event," Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick stated in her announcement that she and the 25 members of the Lake of the Ozarks Can-Am Police-Fire Games Committee have been working to bring the Games to the Lake for over two years. On behalf of Tri-County Lodging Association and the committee, Fitzpatrick expressed her gratitude to the Can-Am Games Federation board for selecting the Lake of the Ozarks as the host site and "making this dream a reality for the entire Lake area."
Fitzpatrick continued, "This has truly been the work of the community coming together for a common goal and could not take place without the support of our local law enforcement, fire, emergency and protective service personnel, their agencies and their boards." Fitzpatrick also acknowledged and thanked the boards and staff members of the Tri-County Lodging Association and the Convention & Visitor Bureau for their support and commitment.
Other speakers at the press conference included Captain Kelly Luttrell of the Camden County Sheriff's Office, Fire Chief Jeff Dorhauer of the Osage Beach Fire Protection District and Bill Merrylees, CEO of the Can-Am Police-Fire Games Federation board of directors. Also present from the Can-Am board were Can-Am US president and treasurer Lynn Hillman, and Can-Am Canadian president Terry Tycholis.
Following the announcements, the press conference concluded with the joint signing of the contract by Bill Merrylees and Lagina Fitzpatrick.
This major international multi-day event takes place every other year and past locations include Regina, Saskatchewan; Milwaukee, Wis.; Spokane, Wash., London, Ontario; St. Cloud, Minn.; and York County, Pa. The 2016 games will be held in Thunder Bay, Ontario and the Lake of the Ozarks will host in 2018. The Lake also has the opportunity to be the back-to-back host site as its still in the running to host the 2020 games. The Can-Am Police-Fire Games Federation board will name the 2020 host in October 2015.
The Can-Am Games is a non-profit event. All proceeds from the 2018 Lake of the Ozarks Can-Am Police-Fire Games will go to Special Olympics Missouri. "Special Olympics Missouri is honored to be the designated charity of the 2018 Can-Am Games," says Mark Musso, president and CEO of Special Olympics Missouri. "We look forward to assisting the games' host committee with the resources of our 24,000 volunteers, 16,500 Special Olympics athletes and our event management staff."
For more information on the Can-Am Police-Fire Games, please visit www.CanAmPoliceFireGames.org.