Spencerport football tournament supports charity in need

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — On Thanksgiving, normally many people are spending time with family, maybe watching football.

However, one group in Spencerport hosted a charity football tournament Thursday morning, raising more than $500.

They have been putting on this charity football tournament every year for Thanksgiving for almost eight years. In the first seven years, they raised close to $3,000.

There were several teams and whatever team won the tournament, 100% of the money was donated to the charity of their choice.

“It’s fantastic,” said team player Josh Matula. “Everybody comes out, plays a little bit of football, goes home to their families, and eats some good food. I think it’s just a nice thing for everyone to come out and enjoy themselves for a little bit today and then go home and relax for some good family time.”

Now it’s making its rounds to becoming a yearly tradition, all while raising money for charity.

“Thanksgiving, you’re always giving something that you’re thankful for around the table,” said event coordinator Jordan Pasquale. “I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had. And obviously other people might not be able to be given those opportunities. So bringing a little bit of money, any money we feel like would just kind of bring a happier Thanksgiving to an organization or person.”

Pasquale said he took just a small idea and ran with it.

“The fun in all that with all of us guys getting out, hanging out with each other, it’s a good time,” Pasquale said. “But definitely it has a bigger cause than just coming to play some football for fun.”

Though the goal is to win, in this case, it’s much bigger than that.

“It’s a nice way to bring something that’s close to home to light,” said Josh Matula. “You know, obviously, there are other people that are dealing with something similar. I know my uncle Ron has played for the Cancer Society before, and I know that one’s close to him, too. Anything we can give for a good cause.”

This is creating a tradition they look forward to every year.

“It means a lot,” said Ron Pasquale. “Just the fact that these guys are all willing to take a little time away from their families on the holidays. We’ve made lifelong friendships here. And just to be able to give back to any charity means a lot to all of us,” he said.