The Cedar Valley Sports Commission and the University of Northern Iowa Athletic Department have reached an agreement with Iowa Shrine Bowl to host the 41st annual all-star football classic at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. The game will be played Saturday July 27th, 2013.
The Iowa Shrine Bowl is presented by the four Shrine Centers in Iowa (Abu Bekr Shriners – Sioux City, El Kahir Shriners – Cedar Rapids, Kaaba Shriners – Davenport and Za-Ga-Zig Shriners – Altoona) and is a major fundraiser for the Shriners Hospital for Children. The all-star football game features 92 select pre-college players and 60 cheerleaders. The players are selected by a process of nomination by coaches, balloting by state-wide sports media professionals, and official invitation from a representative of the Iowa Shrine Bowl.
Cedar Valley Sports Commission Executive Director Jim Marlin says the Cedar Valley is extremely fortunate for the opportunity to host the event. "This is an event that will have a major economic impact in the Cedar Valley," Marlin said. "But more importantly, it is an honor to be able to work closely with the Shriners to benefit the Hospital for Children."
UNI Athletic Director Troy Dannen adds that it's important to remember what the Shrine Bowl is really about. "While the UNI-Dome offers a great environment for the final high school competition for the participants, Dannen says, "The University recognizes the Shrine Bowl is much more than just a football game. The education the participants receive through what is often their first experience with less fortunate young children lasts a lifetime. More importantly, the benefit for the Shriners Children's Hospitals is the great legacy of the Shrine Bowl, and the University looks forward to the opportunity to assist the enhancement of this legacy."
The Shrine Bowl has been played at Jack Trice Stadium at Iowa State University in Ames for the past twelve years, but was forced to find a new home beginning in 2013 due to new NCAA rules. "We have had a good run at Iowa State University and made many friends but we are really looking forward to our new adventure with UNI," Said Shrine Bowl General Manager Jerry Hoffman. "It will be a great time to work with the community, the area businesses, and the University to provide a quality football game because our goal and mission is to raise funds for our shrine hospitals and transportation funds."
In addition to the game itself, the week-long event will feature a mini-camp for hospital children, a recognition banquet for the players and cheerleaders and a parade featuring Shriners from all across Iowa.
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