WALL TOWNSHIP — Over 100 fathers and sons showed up at the AYF fields on Sunday, Nov. 20, for the fourth annual flag football game, which benefits the Bradley Food Pantry.
Every participant brought with them a bag of non-perishable food to donate, which the families then donated in person to the Bradley Food Pantry on Sunday night.
The event was started by Mike Smith and his son Kai in 2019 as a way to celebrate the holiday and give thanks through donations, but they never envisioned the Father and Son Turkey Bowl would become a staple of the community holiday tradition, growing much more than the original 30 participants their first go around.
“Kai and I are so thankful to the community for coming out and supporting the Bradley Food Pantry. It’s very easy to get caught up in our daily responsibilities and for us to use events like today to pause and reflect on how fortunate we are and how we have an obligation to give back to our community is a very important lesson for all the children here today,” said Mr. Smith.
To Mr. Smith, Thanksgiving is about more than gluttony and football. Instead, it should be a moment to reflect and give back to one’s community, and he hopes the kids participating will walk away with this lesson.
“The importance of giving back to society cant be understated, when you give back, you are bettering the lives of the people around each of us. The secret to a fulfilled life is giving. We can very easily get caught up in material possessions, but the real meaning in life never comes from what you get, it really comes from what you give. The sooner we can instill that in all of these kids, the better off they will be as young adults,” said Mr. Smith.
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