Meadows Turkey Bowl in Medina raises $245,000, honors player's wife who died from breast cancer

Posted at 3:32 PM, Nov 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-24 15:34:56-05

The annual Meadows Turkey Bowl in Medina set a personal Thanksgiving day record by raising $245,000 for charity.

The backyard football game, which brings together 40 friends at the home of Mike Meadows, also honored the memory of Beth Mowrey, a mother of four from Hudson who passed away last August.

All of the players wore shirts with Beth's name on the back of them.

Beth's husband, Alan Mowrey, played in the game and was very touched by the show of support.

"It's the first year she's not with me and I started to get a little emotional, knowing that she just loved this event. She loved knowing that we were helping so many people," Alan said. "Seeing Beth's name on the backs, she touched so many lives when she was here."

The Turkey Bowl has been around for 27 years and has served as a fundraiser for the past 11 years.

In that time, it has raised about $1.5 million. The first year the game generated less than $1,000.

Before this Thanksgiving, the previous record was set last year with $230,000.

"These numbers are staggering coming from 40 men who are going out to family and friends and trying to help the neediest of needy in our community," Meadows said.

Meadows also said that former Browns running back "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell donated $15,000 to the cause.

The majority of the money goes to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Meadows said 30 percent of the donations will be earmarked to assist families dealing with cancer as a lasting tribute to Beth.

"Alan is like a brother to us, so for one of our brothers to lose his wife is just a very emotional thing," Meadows said.

Alan said Beth was a wonderful mother who was full of energy and loved listening to and helping others.

He believes her kindness will live on as the turkey bowlers remember her each year.

"She's going to help lift people's spirits. When they're down at their lowest, when they're going through one of the hardest trials of their life. I think it's just real touching and she would be proud to be a part of it."