The event, held recently at Bowlero Feasterville, aimed to raise $4,000 for local scholarships
By Samantha Bambino
The Phillie Phanatic is far from biased when it comes to Philadelphia sports teams. Flanked by a pair of Eagles cheerleaders and a slew of former NFL players, the beloved mascot hoisted himself onto a pool table in the middle of Bowlero Feasterville, massive belly and all, from which he conducted dozens in the Eagles fight song.
Afterward, once safely down from his makeshift stage, he took photos with bowlers, ruffled a few hairdos, and showed off his ladies’ creature skills by ballroom dancing with a number of females.
The Phanatic has an innate ability to bring energy and induce smiles wherever he goes. But on the evening of Monday, Nov. 5, that energy was already present before his highly-anticipated arrival.
From 7 to 9 p.m. at the revamped bowling alley, located at 100 E. Street Road, community members, students and athletes gathered for the second annual Foot-Bowl. Hosted by the Bensalem Rotary and Mud in My Cleats, the event’s mission is to raise funds for local high school seniors heading off to college.
Last year’s inaugural Foot-Bowl raised an unprecedented $4,000, with 100 percent of proceeds awarded as college scholarships to students at Bensalem, William Tennent and Neshaminy. According to Rotary president Marc Cohen, the 2018 goal was to raise at least the same amount.
The idea to host Foot-Bowl stemmed from Ron Davis, a Bensalem Rotarian and member of the local Mud in My Cleats chapter. A nonprofit organization that’s currently celebrating its 10th year, Mud in My Cleats is comprised of former NFL players who are dedicated to assisting professional and amateur athletes achieve their dreams. Meanwhile, since its founding in 1941, the Rotary Club has boasted the mantra “service above self.” After taking a look at both organizations and what they stand for, Davis decided it was a no-brainer to unite the two.
“Our goal is to continue to do good things in the community. It’s exciting to help where we can,” Davis told The Times, the Phanatic hilariously lurking behind him.
The funds that will soon be utilized by students were collected in several ways. Tickets for the event cost $25 per person, which included complimentary hot dogs and pizza. On site, members of the Bensalem Community Service Club were selling raffle tickets for baskets provided by sponsors such as Wawa, Salon Fusion and AFC Fitness. At the 2017 event, raffle sales alone resulted in $500.
Throughout Foot-Bowl’s two-hour timespan, attendees had the chance to take photos with and get autographs from several former NFL players including Davis, Reginald Wilkes, Cedric Brown, Charles Lynch, Tim Massaquoi, Dominique Curry, Brad Quast, Joe Wilson and Neshaminy alum, Bob Grupp.
They were also able to bowl alongside the pro athletes as the Phanatic and, of course, Benny the Bensalem High School owl mascot, cheered them on.
“Partnerships spell success in the community,” Davis said. “We make sure young people get an education. They’re our future.”
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com