MEDINA TWP. — Players of an annual backyard football game had a sunny Thanksgiving Day morning to help garner more than $125,000 for some local folks in need.
The 23rd annual Meadows Turkey Bowl kicked off at about 8 a.m. Thursday at the home of Mike Meadows, 3075 Hood Road. After nearly three hours of friendly but fierce competition, a check for $125,787 was presented to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
“There are two things we’re passionate about, and that’s helping the needy and playing football,” said Liverpool Township resident Darren Cereshko, a rookie Turkey Bowler and co-MVP of the games. “To be able to do both at the same time is awesome.”
Second-year player Joe Paoletto, of Cleveland, agreed and noted the experience is fun for participants.
“It’s a good time. It was more of a friendship and family-like event this year because I know more people playing the game,” Paoletto said.
The Thursday football event was a series of gridiron contests among four teams of 10 to 12 players. Donations from individuals and corporate sponsors of the players have gone to the St. Vincent de Paul Society over the years.
The Green squad won Thursday’s championship game 6-5.
Last year, the Turkey Bowl brought in $125,000 for the society, which helps to feed, clothe and offer funds for heating homes to needy people in Medina County.
The 2012 Turkey Bowl is allocating $5,000 in scholarship money, or $2,500 each, to a male and female senior at Medina High School.
The Medina County School Foundation is managing the scholarship, and further details will be announced after Jan. 1, Meadows said.
Corporate sponsors for the 2012 Turkey Bowl were Hyde Park Steakhouse, the Cleveland Indians and Weymouth Golf Club.
Team captains were Bill Biegel, Erin Cureton, Keith Hughes and Jay Nemeth. Mike and Bill Meadows sponsor the event.
Mike Meadows also will host the Youth Turkey Bowl 9 to 11 a.m. today. The game will feature about a dozen special-needs players who attend the Medina County Achievement Center, he said.
Contact reporter Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.