Fishers Fire Dept. Lt. Dave Bobo and his wife, Michelle, saw a need to help firefighters’ families with expenses related to their children’s illness.
Although insurance covered basic medical costs, there were other needs like constant trips to Riley Hospital for Children or Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, overnight stays and eating out while at the hospital, walkers, wheelchairs and support dogs.
“Things that aren’t covered 100 percent or by insurance at all,” Fishers firefighter Chad Hiner said. “Dave’s idea was to come up with a charity function that was fun but benefits those families as well.”
So, Bobo and his wife created The Firefighters’ Fathead Challenge in 2009 to benefit Hamilton County Firefighters’ families with extraordinary medical needs. The Feb. 23 Fathead Challenge, a night of trivia competition, begins at 6 p.m. with a happy hour and check-in at Holy Spirit at Geist, 10350 Glaser Way, Fishers. Trivia starts at 7 p.m.
Hiner started doing the trivia questions for Fathead Challenge for years ago. He is now event director. In 2018, Hiner said Bobo was ready to retire from the Fathead Challenge.
“He was ready to pass the torch and let another group run it,” he said.
Bobo has been Hiner’s lieutenant for the past three years. Jeff Stephenson, a Fishers firefighter, is the event’s finance director and Jamie Grau is the donations coordinator. Grau, whose husband, Jacob, is a Fishers firefighter, gathers prizes for event.
More than 450 people typically participate. There are 10 rounds of questions. Individuals tickets are $30. VIP tables are available for $800. More than $20,000 was raised last year.
“Firefighters are great about providing help when it’s needed but terrible about asking for it,” Hiner said.
The group, through union representatives, have asked the lieutenants and captains for nominations because the company officers see the need on a daily basis.
“They know the guys that need help and will be too stubborn to ask for it,” Hiner said. “They will nominate and the board will go over the nominations and vote on it.”
For more, visit fatheadchallenge.com.