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Freezing temps hinder Lake Villa Twp. fundraiser

Despite lack competitiwhwas frigid Thanksgiving morning team who dubbed themselves 'Wolves' briefly scrimmaged during  Flag Football Turkey Bowl benefit

Despite a lack of competition on what was a frigid Thanksgiving morning, a team who dubbed themselves the "Wolves" briefly scrimmaged during the Flag Football Turkey Bowl, a benefit for the Lake Villa Township Food Pantry. | Judy Masterson/Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 28, 2014 3:16AM

The inaugural Lake Villa Township 5 on 5 Flag Football Turkey Bowl didn’t proceed quite as planned, and bitter cold was a major culprit.

Organized as a Thanksgiving Day fundraiser for the township’s food pantry, the event by the 10 am. kickoff time had signed up just one team — six young men — all recent high school grads, willing to brave unrelenting slaps of numbing wind and temperatures in the 20s.

“It’s for the kids,” said Evan McCollum, 20, of Lake Villa, who, despite the lack of competition, took to the field with his friends for a quick scrimmage on frozen grass at Tiny Park near Route 132 and Fairfield Road,

“They’re great for showing up,” said Township Supervisor Dan Venturi. “I think the weather scared everybody else away.”

Venturi, who said next year he’ll push advance registration, got the idea for the bowl after seeing others play football on the township’s fields over past Thanksgivings.

“People would say ‘You shouldn’t let them do that,’” Venturi said. “But why not? Football keeps you out of the kitchen, gives you something to do on Thanksgiving Day and helps burn off the calories you put on from dinner.”

Evan’s dad, Glenn McCollum, a township trustee, had been prepared to referee the games.

“It’s cold,” McCollum said. “But its for a good cause − food for the food bank.

A small crowd of onlookers included township Trustee Bill Nadelhoffer and wife Debbie, whose son Kevin, 20, came prepared to play with the team that dubbed themselves the Wolves, and Trustee Terry Beadle, whose son Mark, 19, also took the field.

Games were set to last 15 minutes. Participants were also asked to bring canned goods for the pantry. Thanksgiving 2014? Tiny Field awaits.

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