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Turkey Bowl to help Miracle Sports Complex in Murrysville

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Financial help keeps rolling in for the Miracle Sports Complex in Murrysville.

With a commitment from a local nonprofit and help from other area businesses, a multipurpose building housing a concession stand, locker rooms and restrooms are in the works, said Harold Hicks, project co-chairman and member of the Murrysville-Export Rotary Club.

“The community response has been amazingly positive,” Hicks said. “We're blessed that there's just so many people that care.”

Plenty of football players will pitch in Sunday at the 13th Annual Turkey Bowl, a fundraising event organized by three Murrysville men. The sports complex at Murrysville Community Park will receive some of the bowl's proceeds.

The Rotary Club has raised well over $1 million to fund the multisport complex, including the Bill Mazeroski Miracle Field, which gives children and adults the chance to play team sports, regardless of ability or disability. Opening day at the field was Sept. 15 though the project was not complete.

Now it will get a little help from Murrysville residents Tony Lodovico, Bill Fisher and Dave Smith, who organize the Turkey Bowl through their nonprofit Fisher-Lodovico And Smith, Sponsored Helping Fund, or FLASH.

“We're committed to do whatever it takes to raise the money to complete the concession stand,” Lodovico said.

The concession stand will cost $100,000 to construct, but organizers have received cash donations and materials toward that amount, Hicks said. FLASH already has donated $2,000 toward the building, he said.

“Getting the building done, it's been somewhat of a stressor,” he said.

Hicks isn't sure when construction will be complete, but the commitment from FLASH is a big help.

Fisher said the group turned a recreational football game among friends into a fundraising opportunity. FLASH has donated proceeds from past Turkey Bowls to area residents or groups in need, but never raised money specifically for a cause, he said.

“We're hoping ... it makes us more of a prominent figure as a fundraising organization in our area,” Fisher said. “We try to spread it around, but we try to keep it local, also.”

With about 70 to 100 players, the Turkey Bowl typically raises between $10,000 and $12,000, he said. A portion of Sunday's proceeds will be donated to the Rotary Miracle Sports Complex.

After the multipurpose building is complete, organizers will move onto the construction of two playgrounds. The Rotary Club is selling pavers that will be etched with a message or name and placed at the site to help with ongoing costs. For details, phone 412-860-8709 or visit www.miracleleaguewpa.org.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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