The Turkey Bowl in Seaford, Del. is All About Bringing the Community Together
There are two fields – one for a 2-hand touch game and the other for good ‘ole fashion tackle football. Many families, including kids, come out to play and enjoy each others company. However, the Turkey Bowl isn’t just about football.
“It started out as a group of us who wanted to get together on college break to play football, and it has continued to grow over the years,” event organizer Jeff Murphy says.
Jeff had an idea a couple years into the event. He figured that since so many people come out to play football with their families, that maybe they can help other families in need. “As the years progressed we started to gather more and more people and I wanted to implement a way to make a difference,” Jeff says.
“Where I used to work, they collected toys for children for the holidays, so I thought if I could get this many people to come together, we should do something to make a difference, so I incorporated a toy drive,” says Jeff.
The first year, they collected 77 toys and last year, they collected 124 as well as $40 that went to new toys for children on Christmas. They send the toys to the “Toys for Tots” organization. This year, Jeff wanted to donate to something more local to the area.
Brooke’s Toy Closet was created by the Brooke Mulford Foundation and the Salisbury Christian School. Brooke was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer, Stage IV high risk neuroblastoma, in Jan. 2009. The foundation helps raise awareness and money to fight and fund research for pediatric cancer and help families on the Delmarva Peninsula whose child is under 18 years of age and is diagnosed with cancer. The toys collected included stuffed animals, trucks, babies, barbies, and coloring books, etc.
Kids that are in PRMC hospital are able to choose a toy out of Brooke’s Toy Closet to hopefully obtain some comfort and put a smile on their face during their time in the hospital.
“I wanted to do something where I could go meet the kids. It’s always nice to keep the toys on the shore and be able to help the community around us,” Jeff says.
“My favorite part about this event is that I get to see people that I haven’t seen in a long time. With everything that goes on in today’s world, it’s nice to see the community come together. It’s not normal you see people stop what they are doing and just be thankful.”
Jason Torlish helps put the event together each year as well and he has enjoyed watching it grow. “I think it’s a great thing. We have been doing a lot every year and have been adding more and more and it’s a good thing for all the kids that are less fortunate and do not have anything for Christmas,” Jason says. “We have a lot of people that come from out of town and it’s just good fellowship. ”
8 year old, James Harmon says his favorite part about the Turkey Bowl is playing football and Thomas Prentice says getting the community together, enjoying the atmosphere, and allowing the community to give back is why he comes out each year.
Amber Phoebus brings her family to the Turkey Bowl each year and says it’s awesome to see all these people get together on a holiday. “Seeing everyone come out and play together is my favorite part about this event, because they do not have to come out and do this on Thanksgiving,” Amber says. “It’s just something they voluntarily want to do.”
Jeff says he doesn’t see any reason that this event would stop. “We have played in the rain, cold and the snow. It’s always going to be a good time,” he says. “I’d like to get something a little bigger, but I’m happy with pick up back yard football games for now.”
They are already planning Turkey Bowl 7 so be sure to mark it on your calendars for next year. It’s all about having fun playing football, while collecting toys to donate to a great cause, and bringing the community together.