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'We fight back': The annual Meadows Turkey Bowl using donations to support cancer research

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Posted at 12:40 PM, Nov 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 17:07:31-05

HINCKLEY, Ohio — Another year, another Meadows Turkey Bowl, now its 32nd year in Medina County.

The annual charity fundraiser topped past donations with $511,000 raised this year. The money is often split between the St. Vincent DePaul Society and families battling cancer. Last year, the Meadows Turkey Bowl raised $416,000.

“Each player raised on average over $10,000,” said founder, Mike Meadows.

But now the Meadows family is focusing on a new mission to help find a cure against a rare form of brain cancer, Oligodendroglioma. It’s the same Mike’ son, Pete, was diagnosed with last year.

“The Meadows turkey bowl is the perfect vehicle to try to find a cure,” Mike said. “Our theme this year is cancer picked a fight with the wrong family don’t cross us. We fight back.”

While Pete’s baseball-sized tumor has since been removed and he is now considered cancer-free, he says his fight is far from over.

“About 1,200 Americans a year will be diagnosed with that type of cancer,” he explained. “It’s something really bigger than ourselves.”

Former NFL player, Connor Cook, who the turkey bowl squad this year, agreed. The Walsh Jesuit High School graduate, who is now in commercial real estate, says the fight against cancer became personal for him at a young age.

“My grandma passed away when I was in sixth grade. She was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer and died three months later. So, we all knew when Pete was diagnosed how serious brain cancer is,” Cook explained. “It’s totally different animal.”

This year, the Turkey Bowlers are donating 25% of the money raised to help find a cure for oligodendroglioma. The Meadows say they are partnering with the same hospital in Boston where Pete’s most recent scans were done. The funding will support the hospital’s ongoing research on Oligodendroglioma.

For more information on the Meadows Turkey Bowl and the family’s Special Olympics Turkey Bowl, click here.