The organizers of the 10th annual Orange County Cop Bowl football game are seeking nominations of school-age youngsters to be honored at halftime for "unique, significant and unselfish contributions" to their communities.
" 'Kids Who Care' is a new event we've developed to add to the excitement of the Cop Bowl's 10th anniversary football game, which will be played next March 25," Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Bill Bechtel said.
Cop Bowl '88 is an annual charity football game featuring teams of officers from seven county police departments.
Proceeds from the game, which will be played at Orange Coast College's LeBard Stadium in Costa Mesa, will buy athletic supplies and equipment for 35 area high schools. Additional contributions are made to county charities, including the Community Service Program, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to terminally ill children.
The game will pit a team of police officers from Fullerton, Buena Park and Garden Grove, representing the north county, against a team of officers from Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine and Newport Beach, representing the south county.
Youngsters who live in those cities and attend school in grades kindergarten through 12 are eligible for nomination to the "Kids Who Care" program. Civic leaders, school supporters, fraternal organizations, youth groups and other residents of the communities are encouraged to make nominations.
Nomination forms are available from the Cop Bowl's "Kids Who Care" coordinator at (714) 892-2433.
One child from each city will be picked to be honored during halftime of the Cop Bowl game. The youngsters will be escorted onto the playing field by entertainment personalities who star in "police or good-guy shows," according to a Cop Bowl spokesman. During the ceremonies, the celebrity escorts will describe to spectators why each winning child was selected and present the child with a commemorative plaque.
"There will be an exciting halftime show as well," Bechtel said. "And through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, we'll be able to provide a terminally ill child with one brief shining moment by making him or her honorary captain of the game.
"Kids who care are all around us. Some kids volunteer at churches or retirement homes. Some help clean up their city parks or beaches, some work on anti-drug and alcohol campaigns or work hand in hand with law enforcement officials to help keep their city crime free and safe. Some may even save lives."
The Cop Bowl began in 1978 as a fund-raising program, when the passage of Proposition 13 threatened to cut money for high school athletic budgets. Cop Bowl '88 will be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 25.
Police officers work out with members of the Los Angeles Rams football team six weeks before the game.
"Many coaches, managers and officers have donated untold hours of their personal time to make Cop Bowl a success," Bechtel said.
Advance tickets for Cop Bowl '88 are available at police stations and high schools in the seven participating cities. At the gate, tickets will be $5 for adults, $3 for students and free to children under 12. A $15 family package is available. For ticket information, telephone (714) 557-7660.