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Touchdown for charity

Niskayuna Youth Football and Cheer to hold inaugural benefit

Members of Niskayuna Youth Football and Cheer participate in a fundraising weekend at ShopRite for the upcoming Bowl Charities Series on Saturday, Nov. 3.

Members of Niskayuna Youth Football and Cheer participate in a fundraising weekend at ShopRite for the upcoming Bowl Charities Series on Saturday, Nov. 3. Submitted photo by Gabrielle Dungan

— Youngsters in one youth football program will be playing for more than points this coming weekend.

Niskayuna Youth Football and Cheer is holding its inaugural Niskayuna Bowl Charities Series on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the club’s fields located behind the Town Pool at 2682 Aqueduct Road. The fundraiser will benefit the Schenectady Inner City Ministry Emergency Food Pantry and the Spina Bifida Association of Northeastern New York.

Tim Brennan, president of Niskayuna Youth Football, said the Board of Directors had kicked around the idea of reaching out to help charities and the bowl-style event seemed liked a good fit.

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Special food and products were sold at Niskayuna Youth Football and Cheer's fundraiser, benefiting two local charities, at ShopRite.

“We really took it and ran with it,” Brennan said. “It is nice to be in the position to emphasize sportsmanship and community in the program.”

Organizers have planned three games starting a 9:30 a.m., with match-ups divided by age groups. Donations were collected at practices and games leading up to the event and will be collected at the event. The games were named through corporate sponsorships—there will be the ShopRite Partners in Caring Bowl, First National Bank of Scotia Bowl and the aptly dubbed Stewarts Shops Ice Cream Bowl.

Brennan said board members were already familiar with SICM and had made donations previously. Some board members had dealt with the Spina Bifida Association before, too.

“There are a ton of worthy charities floating around that could have been selected, but there were two that quickly came to mind for various reasons,” he said.

There isn’t a fundraising goal, in part because organizers aren’t sure what kind of attention the inaugural event will draw. Assuming this year is successful, organizers would like to hold the event annually.

“I was hoping it would work. I ultimately think we are going to do pretty well with it this year,” Brennan said. “I’m really pleased with the buzz that it got and I think we might exceed any expectation that I might have had.”

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