Even though the 31st annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the all-star football game was still a fundraising success.

More than 83 percent of the players and cheerleaders (113 of 136) selected to participate in the game continued with their fundraising efforts and raised over $75,000 to support the Shrine Hospitals in Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Lobster Bowl was scheduled to be played this Saturday at Thornton Academy, but was canceled May 20 in response to the pandemic. Lobster Bowl President Joe Hersom said that most years participants raise $100,000 to $120,000. But because the expense of putting on the game was significantly lower this year, the Lobster Bowl and its sponsor group the Kora Shriners of Lewiston expect to make their largest donation ever to the hospitals.

“The Kora Shrine out of Lewiston holds a variety of fundraisers throughout the year and all of those were canceled,” Hersom said. “There no Shrine circus, or barbecue, or car show and the Lobster Bowl, even though we can’t have a game, because of this fundraising effort by the kids, it’s going to be a significant donation to the hospital and pretty much one of only donations this year from the Shrine to the hospital.”

The top fundraisers by category were: Samantha Fuller (cheerleading) of Lawrence High, who raised $2,445; Colby Van Decker (East team) of Oxford Hills, $2,695; and Jacob Breton (West team) of Massabesic, $4,280.

Hersom said the players who did raise money will receive Lobster Bowl uniform jerseys, each with the number they wore in high school.


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