Local sports stars will play flag football with Dublin Karrer Middle School students to raise money for charity in the annual Turkey Bowl Fundraiser Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Local sports stars will play flag football with Dublin Karrer Middle School students to raise money for charity in the annual Turkey Bowl Fundraiser Tuesday, Nov. 25.

The Turkey Bowl is a flag-football game which celebrates the seventh-graders' service project and fundraising efforts.

Scoonie Penn, a former Ohio State University basketball star, and Mike Durant, a former OSU baseball catcher who also played for the Minnesota Twins major league team, will be returning as quarterbacks in this year's Turkey Bowl.

Last year, the seventh-graders raised more $8,000 to feed 90 families in the Dublin City School District.

"Every year this fundraiser gets bigger and better," said Katy O'Neal, Turkey Bowl organizer and a Karrer teacher.

"We now have raised over $50,000 in five years," O'Neal said.

However, the Turkey Bowl is not just about collecting money.

"We spend a day doing team building activities with the seventh-graders with a focus on working together as a team while embracing our differences," O'Neal said.

The donations this year will benefit Blessings in a Backpack. The program provides needy families at Chapman and Riverside elementary schools with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year.

Beginning this year, every seventh-grader will have the opportunity to spend a morning at Chapman helping fill the backpacks with food and reading to younger elementary school students.

A small group of students will also be going to Riverside Elementary School to speak during the school's Town Hall Meeting themed "Responsibility and Giving Back."

Past participants in the Turkey Bowl have included former Ohio State athletes Craig Krenzel, Bobby Hoying, Tommy Hoying, Justin Zwick, Dee Miller, Mike Wiley and Rodney Bailey.

Former major league baseball pitcher and Dublin native Kent Mercker, and former superintendent Dr. David Axner have also participated in the event.

"We are so blessed to have the opportunity to not only teach curriculum, but to teach these kids the importance of community, teamwork and paying it forward," O'Neal said.

In previous years, the Turkey Bowl has raised money for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research and the Second and Seven Foundation for Literacy.

This year, there will be 11 flag-football fields with 22 teams playing. All of the Karrer seventh-graders participate in the event.

The Turkey Bowl traditionally takes place the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at Karrer Middle School from 10:30 a.m. to noon.