Eddie Meath All-Star Game
Eddie Meath All-Star Game continues to inspire our community
Despite being opponents during football season, Eddie Meath east versus west league All-Star players have joined together, for the past 31 years, to play with the same goal - winning for patients at Golisano Children's Hospital. In three decades, top Section V football players and cheerleaders from the Rochester area have helped raise more than $150,000, averaging about $5,000 every year!
Former Jefferson head coach of 15 years, Dick Cerone, created the Eddie Meath game with the help of a committee of Section V football coaches and our long-time friend Rich Funke. The retired News10NBC anchor helped Cerone establish the game's name with the NCAA and played a role in the network sponsoring the event for close to a decade.
Section V coaches nominate players, many of which hold leadership roles and are All-Greater Rochester members, to compete in the only All-Star game in the area. To make the event complete, 20 top cheerleaders are chosen from both sides of Section V to show their spirit for the All-Star players.
For one week in the spring, chosen players and cheerleaders practice for what Cerone tells them is "a week of their lives they'll probably never forget." During breaks in practice, several seniors share what playing in the game means to them, often describing personal connections to the children's hospital.
"We've had participants whose brothers or sisters spent time in the pediatric units and some who have even been there for a period of time themselves," said Cerone.
Prior to the big face-off, about 20 of the high school students visit our patients for a generous Abbott's Frozen Custard celebration. Players and cheerleaders not only interact with patients on the Playdeck, often handing out various Section V memorabilia, but they also take the time to go to individual patient rooms.
"You can really see the patients light up when they see the All-Stars," said Betsy Findlay, director of special events for Golisano Children's Hospital. "Every player makes it a point to make a connection with a patient and you can see in the smiles how much it truly means to both parties."
Championship organizers also bring the smiles to the field, always asking a patient to be the Eddie Meath mascot. The chosen patient gets to be a special part of the game-opening coin toss and is invited to the corresponding banquet event. "On game day the kids really rally around the patient, with high fives all around," Cerone said.
"Every year, after every game, coaches come up to me and thank me for letting them be involved in something so meaningful," Cerone said. "It's a good game, the kids really enjoy it, and there is great purpose in why we do it."
If interested in sponsoring the 2014 Eddie Meath All-Star game, please contact Dick Cerone at firstname.lastname@example.org.