‘Turkey Bowl’ in Backyard Raises Thousands

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MEDINA, Ohio -- It's a backyard football game like no other: there are referees, a band, two fields with sidelines, even a play-by-play announcer.

But this game is more than a group of more than 40 guys getting up early on Thanksgiving day to play football.

It's about giving.

"This is our 23rd year playing the game, eight years as a fundraiser, and why we do it is we come together for St. Vincent DePaul," said Mike Meadows, the organizer of the Turkey Bowl.

"It's more of a fellowship, a group of guys that get together, and the main thing is to raise money for St. Vincent DePaul. It's a great charity that helps out everybody in the Medina community that's really struggling, so you really can't beat it," said Bill Biegel, of Medina

Last year, the charity game raised the more than $125,000 for the St. Vincent DePaul Society, and this year they plan on raising even more.

They started raising funds in the beginning of November.

"We have a good shot at beating what we did last year, which was absolutely amazing what we raised last year. With everything that's going on with the economy, we don't have the same number of players that we did last year. If we could hit that mark it would be absolutely incredible," said Al Melchiorre, of Medina.

The Meadows Turkey Bowl game is also setting up a $5,000 college scholarship. About $2,500 will go to a male and female senior high student from Medina High School. Plus, there was a bone marrow registry drive for to help someone who became ill with leukemia.

"One of our Turkey bowlers good friends was diagnosed with leukemia. Consequently, he needs a bone marrow transplant, so today and last night what we are doing is what we are going to be doing is testing players," said Meadows.

Organizers of the Meadows Turkey Bowl charity said they have raised more than $126,000 from their event so far this year.

For more information on the event or to donate, click here.