Thanksgiving is just days away and events are already underway to help the communities of North Alabama — one involving a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
Walter Jones’ Turkey Bowl was held on Saturday at James Clemens High School. For a decade, the Seattle Seahawks legend has been hosting a flag football tournament the week of Thanksgiving to raise money for the House of the Harvest foodbank.
“Right around Thanksgiving time is a great time for everybody to be thankful,” Jones said. “So to have this event happening is pretty special to me.”
Jones said the event is very near to his heart as one of eight children raised by a single mother in Alabama.
“so she had to go to a food bank, too. So for me, personally, when I was looking for a charity event, this is something that really touched my heart, so it’s something that I want to do.”
While the event is for a good cause there’s also a high level of competition. Win or lose, many say the event is more about helping others than anything else.
“Anything for a good cause, anything charitable that raises money for just people that need it more is beautiful, I love a good cause,” Darius McClain, a participant, said.
“It makes it a lot more valuable, honestly,” Hunter Gant, another competitor, said. “It’s nice just to get out here, but then there’s a lot of people who probably need this and all of the donations are helping everyone around Huntsville and everywhere else it goes.”
Each year, the event raises about $50,000, according to Jones.
“So we’re doing pretty good. I think the cool thing about it now, we’re just working towards improving the House of the Harvest because they’re doing great things without me even being there so for me to give back to that organization,” he said, “it’s been pretty amazing.”