Millions raised as Thanksgiving Day tradition continues in Meado - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Millions raised as Thanksgiving Day tradition continues in Meadows backyard

Turkey Bowl. (Source: WOIO) Turkey Bowl. (Source: WOIO)

There's an inflatable turkey, band, and of course football. 

At first glance, this Thanksgiving Day tradition is just like any other.

“It started out 28 years ago in my backyard,” said founder Mike Meadows.

12 years ago they made the fun game into a way to help others.

“It's a blessing. It's hard to put into words of what it feels like. It’s almost numb,” Meadows said.

The first year they raised $850. This year, the tally was $263,000 dollars. If that number impresses you, throughout the years, they've raised almost $1.5 million. All of that money will either go to St. Vincent de Paul or the Akron Children's Hospital.

“This event that they hold every year is the best,” said Katelynn’s mom, Andrea Wilson.

This year, they are playing in honor of four special kids with cancer. Katelynn is lucky enough to be at the games.

“I'm overwhelmed. I am holding back tears. I guess I've become used to that. It is truly amazing,” Wilson said.

Katelynn was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015, and is in remission. She will finish her treatment in March. Wilson says the Meadows have become like family.

“It's so cool between her and the three other children that they are being represented by these wonderful gentlemen,” Wilson said.

If you are wondering what Meadows will be doing on Black Friday?

“We do it all over again!” added Meadows.

Money raised Friday goes to Special Olympics.

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