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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Pendleton hosts charity football

By Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | November 28, 2012

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Isaiah Cole, 10, sprints for a touchdown, contributing to the Warrior’s victory of 22-0 at the Buddy Bowl flag-football tournament here Nov. 24. The Buddy Bowl is a non-profit organization, which raises money for military families and civilian first-responders.

Isaiah Cole, 10, sprints for a touchdown, contributing to the Warrior’s victory of 22-0 at the Buddy Bowl flag-football tournament here Nov. 24. The Buddy Bowl is a non-profit organization, which raises money for military families and civilian first-responders. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz)


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Petty Officer 3rd Class Mathew Petree, a corpsman at 13 Area Branch Medical Clinic, bulldozes Max Jenkins, a server at a Las Vegas restaurant, leaving Hot Route’s halfback, Jade Stevenson, a Las Vegas nanny, exposed during the Buddy Bowl flag-football tournament here Nov. 24. The non-profit event provides service members and the local community a charity based opportunity to interact and compete.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Mathew Petree, a corpsman at 13 Area Branch Medical Clinic, bulldozes Max Jenkins, a server at a Las Vegas restaurant, leaving Hot Route’s halfback, Jade Stevenson, a Las Vegas nanny, exposed during the Buddy Bowl flag-football tournament here Nov. 24. The non-profit event provides service members and the local community a charity based opportunity to interact and compete. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz)


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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --

Football fans passed, ran and scored to raise money for service members and first responders in the local community here during the Buddy Bowl Nov. 24.

More than 300 service members and civilians gathered at the flag-football tournament, which raised more than $19,000 in donations for charities who promote active lifestyles for wounded veterans and first responders.

One of the recipients is the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which provides athletic equipment, competition and training expenses for many sports, said Nico Marcolongo, a retired Marine and president of the non-profit organization.

The Buddy Bowl started in 1977 when Point Loma High School graduates began meeting on the beach for football games. With a desire to get more military involved, Marcolongo relocated the annual event here in 1998. Soon after the move, a helicopter crashed off the coast of Point Loma, killing six service members.

“Four of the Marines had been from my unit,” Marcolongo explained.  “I passed a can around the event and $550 was raised for the families.”

The impromptu fund raising was the beginning of the Bowl as a charity event.

The Buddy Bowl is unique because it is the only annual event in the U.S. that raises money for military, first responders and their families through a community based flag football tournament that includes both physically-challenged and able-bodied participants, Marcolongo said.

Jeff Buras, an electrician for Roen Electric and team member of the championship team, Blood Bath, said his team has been participating in the Buddy Bowl for 10 years and intends to continue the tradition as long as the cause still remains.

To learn more about the Buddy Bowl, visit: http://buddybowl.org.



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