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Sierra Madrean Helps to Raise Money for Hathaway-Sycamores Kids  

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Jim Liston of Sierra Madre was among the fifty guys who took to the historic Rose Bowl field last Saturday, January 10th, to participate in the fourth “Battle of the Bowl,” a unique flag football fundraising event that has raised over $100,000 since its inception to benefit Pasadena-headquartered Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services.

The Battle of the Bowl event was created in 2004 by Todd Doney, Vice Chairman of CB Richard Ellis. Doney, a San Marino resident, attended a charity auction and successfully bid on a most unusual item: use of Pasadena’s famed Rose Bowl stadium for one day. Creative thinking led to this unique event, which brings together area residents, many professional colleagues in commercial real estate, and friends to benefit Hathaway-Sycamores, where he is on the Advisory Board of Directors.

The flag football competition pit the “Benefactors” (in red) against the “Patrons,”  (in blue) with the two teams battling it out to raise over $25,000 for this year’s event. While the participants range from 25 to 55 years old, several of this year’s players were no strangers to the Rose Bowl field. Headlining this year’s game were former UCLA QBs Cory Paus and Brendan McCracken, CAL and NFL Kansas City Chiefs QB Pat Barnes, and former Duke linebacker Chris Rising.

The teams competed for two 45-minute halves, complete with full use of the Rose Bowl football field and scoreboard, home and visitor team locker rooms, and live audio/video feed, with action highlights and instant replays shown real-time on the video scoreboard. At halftime, about 25 kids, who were watching the game, were invited on the field to participate in a spirited game of  “Capture the Flag.”

In the second half with less than 10 minutes to go, the score was tied at 26-26. With only minutes left on the clock, Benefactor QB Cory Paus connected with Mark Sprague on a 15-yard touchdown pass to win the game 34-26.

The price to play on one of the two 25-member teams was $750, with all of the proceeds going to support the 9,000 children and families served by Hathaway-Sycamores.

At the games end, Doney thanked his friends and colleagues, most coming from the commercial real estate industry, for their support of the event. “It was great to see all these big players in the real estate industry come out and literally put their bodies on the line to support this event,” said Doney. “We had a great time, raised a lot of money, and got to compete for the children served by Hathaway-Sycamores in one of the greatest football stadiums in the country.”  He then presented a $25,000 check to Hathaway-Sycamores President, Bill Martone.  “What a great way to start 2009. We thank Todd Doney and all the players who took to the field today. There are thirty-two returning players from last years event, and we so appreciate the returning players and welcome the newcomers for your enthusiasm and support for this event which truly makes a difference in the lives of so many children,” said Martone.

Photos courtesy of CATZ.  Top photo: (l-r) Jim Liston of Sierra Madre (CATZ Sports, Pasadena), Glen Herold of Pasadena, and Mark Sprague of Manhattan Beach.
Bottom Photo: Jim Liston of CATZ Sports, Pasadena, who donated athletic trainers for the Battle of the Bowl, with (l-r) his daughters Rebecca and Kaitlin, and friend Aliya Crochetiere (far right)

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