By LANCE MASTERSON
Of the Keizertimes
It’s been a while since Keizer was represented on the playing field of the Chemawa Pig Bowl, the annual fund-raiser that brings together football teams comprised of police officers.
But that doesn’t mean local residents shouldn’t have a rooting interest in the outcome of the game.
That’s because proceeds from the game, which is sponsored by the non-profit Law Enforcement for Youth, often help finance local projects.
There are three Pig Bowls held in the Willamette Valley, including the one set for Saturday (July 10) at the Chemawa Indian School.
“Over the years several hundred Keizer youths have benefited from both our mini-grant and Shop With a Cop programs,” said Steve Polanski, the organization’s executive director.
The Keizer Police Department is represented on the coordinating committee for the Shop With a Cop program, with some 50 children participating every year.
“We have exclusively ran the local Cop With a Shop program since 2005,” said Polanski.
More recent, Law Enforcement for Youth provided an equipment grant to the McNary High School softball program so it could purchase new varsity uniforms and bases.
Additionally, a student from McNary made it to Germany with her classmates thanks to an assistance grant of $1,500 from the organization.
“She is experiencing a trip of a lifetime traveling through Germany and the surrounding area with her classmates,” said Polanski. “We have also supported several programs at the Chemawa Indian School for their student programs.”
Law Enforcement for Youth provides the Cheamwa campus with Christmas tree lights and ornaments while Chemeketa Community College student deliver trees to families who otherwise would go without for the holiday. Several of these families lived in Keizer.
“Law Enforcement for Youth is proud to help youth in the community and continue our mission to provide opportunities to low income, at risk and medically challenged youths, and the programs that serve them,” said Polanski.
Law Enforcement for Youth also supports local businesses through its efforts.
For the past five years, the get-together and Valley Dawgs player awards that follow the Chemawa Bowl were made at Porter’s Pub in Keizer.
“We will be doing so again this season and the public is welcome to attend,” said Polanski.
There are no cover or entry charges.
“Just an opportunity to meet some of our players and socialize,” said Polanksi.
With a 5 p.m. kickoff, players and families begin arriving at Porter’s around 8:15 p.m.
Tickets for the Chemawa Pig Bowl are on sale now. Cost is $8 per adult and $5 for kids ages 5-17.
Call 503-363-5437 for more information.