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November 27, 2014

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Thunderbirds face North Las Vegas police in charity softball game

Cheyenne Sports Complex

When they're in the cockpits of their F-16 fighter jets, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are considered the best of the best.

But on Saturday afternoon, on the softball diamond, members of the Air Force flight demonstration team will have to prove themselves against some of North Las Vegas' finest. The pilots of the famous precision flying team will pick up their gloves and bats to square off against the North Las Vegas Police Department in the 6th Annual NLVPD vs. USAF Thunderbirds Charity Softball Game.

The game starts at 1 p.m. at the Cheyenne Sports Complex near Cheyenne Avenue and Pecos Road.

The public is welcome to attend. Donations of $3 for adults and $2 for children are encouraged, with all proceeds going toward school supplies for Raul P. Elizondo Elementary School.

The school is named after North Las Vegas police officer Raul Elizondo, a Basic High School graduate who was killed in the line of duty on January 30, 1995.

He was killed during an altercation with a man who wrestled his gun away from him. Elizondo, who had about 90 minutes left on his shift before he went home, died at University Medical Center at 6:25 a.m.

Sergeant Leonard Cardinale of the North Las Vegas Police Department said Elizondo was known to always have a smile on his face. "He always had nice things to say for people. He just got caught in a bad situation," Cardinale said.

Saturday's charity softball game will also include food, raffle prizes and demonstrations by the North Las Vegas Police Department Honor Guard and K-9 unit. The Thunderbirds pilots will be available for pictures and autographs.

"Our department has a very good relationship with the Thunderbirds," Cardinale said. "They travel worldwide and their time is very hard to get. For them to come out each year and support us, it's fantastic."

Jeff O’Brien can be reached at 990-8957 or [email protected].

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