HINCKLEY, Ohio (WOIO) - The Meadows Turkey Bowl in Hinckley held its 30th annual Thanksgiving football charity event.
"We’re helping people who are in need. In particular, people who are battling cancer,” Founder Mike Meadows said.
Each player must raise at least $2,000 to play. But, this year they surpassed those expectations. A large part of the donations came from players’ own money.
It all started as a backyard football game and has grown over the years. So far, they have raised roughly $2 million. But for people like Debbie Clarke and her family, it’s about much more.
“It’s really not about the money that they raise here, it’s about the community, and just making you feel loved and supported.”
Her sister is currently battling cancer. Her uncle just died from cancer, and the disease has impacted someone in her family for the past 13 years.
Each team wears the name of someone who’s fighting or has lost their battle to cancer on the back of their jersey. This year, the Turkey Bowl is dedicated to 3-year-old Penny Mallery. She underwent a massive surgery to remove her tumor. Her grandfather played in the bowl on Thanksgiving. She’s recovering with the support of her family and now the entire Turkey Bowl community.
“We’re very honored, very humbled. It’s such a nice thing to see the community supporting her when we need it most,” said Penny’s mom, Rachel Mallery.
If you’d like to donate or get involved next year, visit the Meadows Turkey Bowl website here.