Deerfield turkey bowl helps less fortunate
Andrew Aveneim of Deerfield, cannot control the ball during his Turkey Bowl game at Caruso Middle School in Deerfield last Thursday. | Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Media.
Updated: November 29, 2012 8:34AM
DEERFIELD — On an unusually warm and sunny Thanksgiving morning, at least 300 boys filled the park area outside Caruso Middle School to work up an appetite before their turkey dinners — it was the 6th annual Deerfield Turkey Bowl. What started out as a small pick-up football game has now grown to an organized community — and charity — event.
“It was just a small football game with my family,” Deerfield resident and mother of three boys Lynn Siegel said. “More kids kept coming every year, and now it’s an actual event.”
Siegel said the parents not only want to create a fun game day, but also help out less fortunate children in the Chicago area. Upon registration for the game, the boys and their family receive a plastic bag that they fill up with food, household goods and hygiene products for the Daniel Cotter Boys and Girls Club of Chicago.
“Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital started donating plastic bags a few years ago,” Siegel said. “After the game, a truck from the Boys and Girls Club will pick up the bags.”
In all, two “huge” vans were loaded to the top with bags of donated goods this year, Seigel said.
Siegel said three directors from the Boys and Girls Club arrived bright and early at Caruso to help set up the event. They even played quarterback in some of the games.
“They couldn’t have been more gracious, more appreciative of everything we gave them,” Siegel said of the Boys and Girls Club.
Parent Lori Reicin, of Deerfield, said her 12-year-old son has been playing in the Turkey Bowl since it’s very first year as a “scratch pick-up game.” She also has a 9-year-old who plays.
“I’ve watched it (Turkey Bowl) grow; it’s just become a tradition,” Reicin said. “To see the whole community being involved, and turning it into a fundraiser, it’s amazing.”
Her husband, Scott, said as a father, he loves spending Thanksgiving morning playing football with his sons and the other boys.
“Pretty much the whole community is out there,” Scott Reicin said. “You get to see all the dads you don’t get to see all the time. The kids all know each other. It’s amazing how organized it is, without any problems.”
Siegel said the Turkey Bowl has become a “labor of love” between her and many of the parents, and their sponsors.
“We now have six sponsors that each contributed about $500,” Siegel said. “We used that to buy the boys t-shirts and knit caps. All the cones and footballs have been donated by the Boys and Girls Club.”
Siegel said the Deerfield Park District allows them to use one of its fields each year - this year, having to utilize the biggest field they had.
“We’ve even started taking out some insurance on the players,” Siegel said, of the event’s growing size.
The event couldn’t happen every year without all the help from other parents and the community, Siegel added.
Siegel said two dads in particular, Scott Scornavacco and Adam Goodhart, put in a lot of work each year.
“I think they are sad it is over,” Siegel said.
Siegel said she would like to thank Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and all six of its sponsors who made the event a success this year.
“We know there will be a 7th annual, we already have new sponsors for next year who want to get involved or donate items or money,” Siegel said.
Information on the Deerfield Turkey Bowl can be found at DeerfieldTurkeyBowl.com.