February 15, 2018 7:21 pm
Updated: February 15, 2018 7:22 pm

Edmonton Eskimos give $840K in 50/50 money to amateur football

Edmonton Eskimos president Len Rhodes announces where $840,000 in 50/50 money was going on Feb. 15, 2018.

Morley Scott/630 CHED

After every home game, the Edmonton Eskimos send one lucky fan home with more money than they arrived with. Usually way more money, thanks to the 50/50 draw that averages over $100,000 in prize money at all home games.

The other half of that money was handed out on Thursday, and amateur football was the big winner.

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The Eskimos announced that $840,000 has been divvied up among six groups that support grassroots football in northern Alberta.

“As the professional team in Edmonton, we are the leaders that everyone looks up to and we have to work together as a group,” president Len Rhodes said. “All the members of the football community are working together towards a cause of getting more kids playing the game.”

READ MORE: 50/50 frenzy: why Edmonton is so obsessed with playing the odds

The breakdown saw the two Edmonton Junior Football Clubs – the Huskies and Wildcats – each getting $225,000.

The University of Alberta Green and Gold Athletic society got $110,000 and the U of A Golden Bears Football Endowment received $1000,000.

Football Alberta was awarded $145,000 for use in the northern part of the province and the Eskimos Alumni Association was gifted $35,000 for use in amateur football initiatives.

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This money for some of these organizations is vitally important. Chris Morris, head coach of the U of A Golden Bears, said it helps keep them competitive in the scholarship world.

“When I got here the football program was giving out about $30,000 in scholarships and that’s not competitive. The cap is $250,000 and we are now at that cap and kids like Ed Ilnicki, who last year was the best player in the country, wouldn’t have been here if we couldn’t hand out that money.

“The Eskimos have been a big part of that process in allowing us to be competitive and keep those top kids in town.”

The Eskimos have donated close to $4 million over the last five years to amateur football.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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