Pickens, Easley prep for annual Food Fight Bowl

COUNTY — The fifth annual Pickens County Meals on Wheels Sam Wyche Food Fight Bowl is quickly approaching, taking place Friday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m.
On the day of the big game, the football teams will hit the field, competing for ownership of the coveted Food Fight Bowl trophy. The Green Wave turned the tide on the Blue Flame last year, dominating in their last home game in the rivalry at Brice Field. This year’s game will be played at the new Pickens High Stadium, where Easley will vigorously defend its claim to the Food Fight Bowl trophy and Pickens will try to improve its 3-1 record in the series and take the trophy away.
The presenting sponsor for the 2012 Sam Wyche Food Fight Bowl is Save-A-Lot Food Store, located at 529 Hampton Avenue in Pickens.
An avid football fan, Dwayne Goodwin, President and CEO of the Goodwin Holdings Group, says he is “pumped up” about supporting the largest fundraising event this year for Pickens County Meals on Wheels.
“My family and I live in Easley, and I take great pride in operating a Save-A-Lot store in Pickens where we can offer quality foods and customer savings to both the Pickens and Easley communities,” Goodwin said.
To assist the students in their fundraising efforts, the Save-A-Lot store in Pickens will host an in-store challenge from August 1 until August 17. During this time, the public can support its favorite team by purchasing $1 pin-ups in support of either Pickens or Easley. In addition to Save-A-Lot’s hot summer savings, this special fundraising challenge provides an opportunity for each school to maximize its fundraising efforts during their final push leading up to the game.
In its fifth year, the Food Fight Bowl has become an event that reminds locals about the important role Meals on Wheels, and its team of caring volunteers, plays in the communities across Pickens County. Silver sponsor Pickens Federal Credit Union (PFCU) understands the importance of community and is honored to support the students of Easley and Pickens as they harness their fierce rivalry to rally the community in support of homebound elderly and disabled citizens.
“These individuals who are from a generation that has shaped who we are today: our grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, veterans, and neighbors,” Pickens County Meals on Wheels executive director Meta Bowers said. “Regardless of age, those served by Meals on Wheels have experienced a significant decline in their health, their independence, and over time, their ability to perform the most basic daily activities.”
Over the past four years students from both schools have raised a total of $94,000, the equivalent of 18,800 meals. Last year, each school raised more than $30,000 for a total of $60,000. With this extraordinary result, a tie was declared, and the Ultimate Food Fight Trophy was awarded to both schools.
“Pickens County Meals on Wheel and the seniors it serves were the biggest winners last year, but this year winner takes all,” said Bowers.
The fundraising goal for this year’s event is 8,000 meals, or $40,000. Both student bodies will be raising money, and the school that raises the most money will win the coveted Ultimate Food Fight trophy. Anticipation about the game is greater than ever. Businesses, churches, civic groups and fans of all ages are eager to get in on the action for the worthwhile cause.
“The game, pageantry and halftime fun will take care of itself,” NFL Hall of Fame player and coach Mike Ditka said. “Now is the time for the real competitors to step up their game and be a part of the reason their school is a winner. Trick plays are okay, but now is the time to go raise more money than the other guys.”
Supporting the students and Meals on Wheels has never been easier or more necessary.
“We are asking the community to support its favorite team, Pickens or Easley,” Bowers said. “Proceeds from this event will help Pickens County Meals on Wheels keep its wheels rolling as we provide meals, companionship and hope to the homebound, elderly and disabled individuals in Pickens County.”
In Tom Ward’s newly released book, The Dirty Thirty, the Easley-Pickens game has been singled out as one of the top 30 rivalries in America. Rivalries are everywhere in football and a good rivalry is good for football. Grasshopper Mowers will, once again, make the halftime announcement honoring the school that raises the most money for Pickens County Meals on Wheels and the winner of the 2012 Ultimate Food Fight Trophy.
So on August 17, when you watch Easley and Pickens fighting it out on the gridiron, not only are they fighting to defeat their arch rival, they are also fighting for an extraordinary cause, the battle against hunger and loneliness in Pickens County.
You can support your favorite team and Pickens County seniors by making a donation online at, or mailing a check to Pickens County Meals on Wheels P.O. Box 184 Easley, SC 29641. Please call, Meta Bowers at 855-3770 ext. 303 with any questions.