Fun, football and fellowship for a good cause; Rotary Championship Sunday Jan. 23

by Michael Short on February 24, 2011

By Michael Short

The Rehoboth Beach Sunrise Rotary Club has been hosting a championship football weekend for years, offering local fans a chance to watch football and feast on the finest of tailgate fare while helping those in need.

On what is often a cold, nasty day in January, fans gather inside the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center on Sunday, Jan. 23. That’s the day when the last four football teams standing duke it out to see who will play in the Super Bowl.

The Steelers and Jets and the Bears and Packers will collide on the wide screen television sets inside the Convention Center while an estimated 450 or more fans relax and feast in comfort on Championship Sunday.

The Rotary Club charges $20 for adults and $5 for children under 12, which includes subs, cole slaw, potato salad, pretzels, Big Lou’s Famous egg rolls, pizza, snacks, beer, wine, soda and a whopping 200 pounds of pulled pork to feast upon. There are raffles, door prizes and a kids corner with games and videos for the younger set, including Madden Challenge.

There’s also a silent auction with restaurant packages, sports memorabilia and other items for fans to bid on.

The doors open at 2 p.m., about an hour before the first kickoff. Food is served beginning at 2:30 p.m. and it’s all you can eat and drink until 8 p.m. on Sunday night.

The proceeds go to benefit a host of very deserving local causes and it’s very much a family affair for fans of all ages with plenty of activities available for children.

Rotary members say the emphasis is on fellowship. “It’s fellowship and fun on a dreary day,” said Sunrise Rotary Club President Philip Allen.

The Rotary supports a number of causes with proceeds from the event, including Casa San Francisco and the Delaware Food Bank. The club provides coats for those in need, holiday meals for the hungry, support for an English/Spanish Dictionary program and dictionaries for third grade students in Rehoboth Elementary School.

The Rotary Club also supports the Wounded Warrior program, the Delaware Burn Camp located at Camp Barnes near Bethany Beach, the Boys and Girls Club, the Southern Delaware Therapeutic Horseback Program and Foster Children of Sussex County by purchasing suitcases for displaced children.

Those are a few of the many causes supported by the local Rotary Club, according to Allen. They raised approximately $8,000 from last year’s Championship Sunday, he said.

“Come and join us. You’ll be surprised at the number of neighbors and friends that will be there every year. . . It’s a great event,” Allen said. “Number one, it’s football. Number 2, it’s late January at the beach and Number 3, it’s for a good cause.”

The Rotary usually fills the Convention Center, which can hold some 450 or 500 people at capacity.

“It’s the area’s biggest tailgate,” Allen said.

Rotary members are known for their four-part test, which asks of all the things, we think, say or do:

1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Tickets are available at the door on Sunday or through any local Rotary member.

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