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Everyone’s a Winner at Crystal Spring Turkey Bowl IV

The Jamestown Jammers Celebrate a score!

Think Cotton Bowl … Rose Bowl … Turkey Bowl?  Yes, in Roanoke for the fourth year, the lighthearted morning of energetic football fun known as the “Turkey Bowl” was held at Crystal Spring Elementary School in Roanoke City the day before Thanksgiving. Parents, siblings, neighbors and all of CSES gathered to cheer on the 4th and 5th graders, who were pitted against one another in a friendly, though occasionally fearsome battle for the win.

An emcee and lots of music kept the momentum going as the Bowl unfolded to several traditions, all  geared toward the celebration of a generous donation to the Rescue Mission. Students worked to secure a spot in the games “by writing a 250 word essay that is required in order to play,” according to school secretary Cheryl Collis. Many a parent would be gratified to know that this year’s topic was on “the importance of being on time.” Students had to refine the essay by going back and editing and making revisions so it was an ongoing learning opportunity.

Collis says “the whole school helps with the Turkey Bowl,” which was the fundraiser brainchild of former Principal Merritt. The students combine planning for the Bowl with their studies on Virginia history, hence the team names: Williamsburg Wave and Jamestown Jammers. The school collects donations which are presented to the Rescue Mission at “halftime.” This year’s goal of $2010 was easily eclipsed by the final total of $2587.78, which was presented to a grateful Director of Development Lee Clark.

The presentation was held in front of a paper chain of little colorful faces, which was held up by students, and spanned the width of the field.  The faces represented the “375 men, women, and children who find respite at the Roanoke Rescue Mission each night.”

After the teachers were sent on the field to fulfill another much-anticipated tradition – and entertain the crowd with a bit of freestyle “dancing,” the 2nd half of the game concluded the zany good time at Turkey Bowl IV.

The Rescue Mission is located at 402 4th Street SE. Phone 540-343-7227; visit

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