Turkey Bowl benefit Friday at Memorial Field

Something magical happens Friday morning.

No, it’s not half price 60-inch plasma TV or 10 T-shirts for a dollar; the annual Turkey Bowl football games in State College begin at 10:30 a.m. at Memorial Field.

The playoff format games are a fundraiser for nearly a decade have raised more than $10,000 for various organizations. This year, donations will benefit former State College Area High School football players who passed away this year, Brandon Ream and Jeremy Wise.

The event, created by State High class of 2001’s Chris Ganter, donated about $1,000 raised last year by more than 100 former State High students to Coaches vs. Cancer in the name of Ream.

“Brandon was a yearly participant in the event, and was battling serious cancer — a battle that he fought with a courage that inspired us all before passing away just this week, Ganter said in an email. “Sadly, he was not the only ‘Turkey Bowl’ participant we lost this year, as fellow class of 2002 member, Jeremy Wise, passed away this May.”

Donations will also go toward scholarship awards for graduating State High students.

The format for the Turkey Bowl is that each graduated State High class forms a team of five players, then play in a playoff system until a champion is decided. The winning class will have their class year memorialized on a plaque that will be displayed in the high school, Ganter said.

The fundraising event has continued to grow, now with more than 100 former State High players, including several Division I players.

The event is the first at Memorial Field, which will afford seats for spectators. In years past, the games were at the South Building track. The school athletic department approved Ganter’s request this year to hold the games on the new field.

For more information and to donate, log on to Donations also will be collected at the gate.