It wasn’t your average evening of bowling on Nov. 8 at Bowlero Feasterville. At the 100 E. Street Road location, pins were knocked down for a good cause.
Bensalem Rotary and Mud in My Cleats partnered once again for the fourth annual Foot-Bowl event, which each year fundraises for college scholarships that go to up-and-coming student-athletes.
Tickets were $25 each, granting attendees access to the lanes from 7 to 9 p.m.; chances to win raffle baskets donated by Wawa, Trader Joe’s, Parx Casino and more; and a meet-and-greet with a slew of NFL legends.
Since Foot-Bowl was unable to take place last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two organizations worked to up the ante to attract guests and raise as much scholarship money as possible.
According to Bensalem Rotary treasurer Marc Cohen, the recent Foot-Bowl raised about $7,000. The Retired NFL Players Association contributed $5,000 that will go to amateur athletes throughout the Philadelphia area. The remaining $2,000 raised by Bensalem Rotary will go directly to youth in Bensalem.
“It was a special night,” Cohen reflected.
Part of what made the event so special was the honoring of Cedrick Brown, founding pastor at Commitment Community Church in Lindenwold, New Jersey, in the name of late Philadelphia Eagles player Greg Brown, who passed away in September 2020 at the age of 63.
“Every year, we’re going to honor someone in his name who does a lot of community service,” Cohen said.
Cedrick, a three-year starter as defensive back at Washington State University and free agent with the Eagles from 1982-86, was selected for his community work. He’s a public speaker for churches, family and outreach events, youth groups and more, and is the founding pastor of one of the most racially and culturally diverse churches in the state of New Jersey, where he has served as lead pastor since 1996.
His son Joshua Brown stopped by Bowlero to accept the award on his father’s behalf.
As for Greg, who played in Philadelphia for six seasons from 1981-86 after working in construction out of college, he was deeply involved in helping the next generation of athletes as a board member of Mud in My Cleats, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to assisting both professional and amateur athletes with achieving their dreams.
Greg’s former teammates Mike Reichenbach, Garry Cobb and Mike Quick were on hand to share kind words about him. His wife Valerie was present and listening with pride.
“He was a gentle giant,” said Cohen. “Even as a young kid, he was just a gentle, caring person. You couldn’t even believe that he could hurt somebody. But when he had to hit somebody, he hit you.”
Other former NFL players in attendance included Sean Landeta, a famous Eagles punter who gifted a boy at Bowlero $20 when he learned it was the child’s birthday, A.J. Feeley, Joe Wilson, Bob Grupp and Ron Davis, director of diversity and community development at Parx Casino, the lead sponsor of Foot-Bowl.
Also on hand were Eagles cheerleaders Tamia, Shelby, Lucia and Mya; as well as five ball girls from the Philadelphia Phillies. Cohen expressed gratitude toward Eagles Cheerleaders squad director Barbara Zaun and the Phillies’ Andrea Guest and Kelly Yurgin for their efforts in making this happen.
The girls brought high-energy to the event and were excited to help the Bensalem High School Community Service Club and local Boy Scouts sell 50/50 and raffle basket tickets.
“They kept saying, ‘Let’s keep going, let’s keep making money,’” said Cohen.
Eagles mascot Swoop joined them.
Throughout the rest of the event, the players signed countless footballs (donated by TD Bank) for attendees to take home as a token to remember the feel-good night.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org