Game On

The clock was running out on the Charity Bowl. Priority saved the game.

Ray Potter has never missed a Charity Bowl in 50 years, all the way back to the first game in 1968. In those days, it was a charity tackle game played by former high school and college football players on Thanksgiving Day. All the money they raised went to the Joy Fund to buy Christmas presents for underprivileged kids. But as time went on, interest in the game waned. Potter and his friends were raising less and less money. And the clock was running out.

“We were at the end of the rope. We weren’t raising money and we were just about to give up,” Potter recalls. Then his friend and former Norfolk State football standout Orlando Goodhope had an idea. He worked at Priority Automotive, and he knew President Dennis Ellmer had a big heart. Maybe he could help?

Touchdown. Ellmer loved the idea, moved the game to the spring, and turned the newly named “Priority Toyota Charity Bowl” into a celebrity touch football game. It’s been a winner for local kids ever since.

The Cause

Every day, children’s charity organizations all over Hampton Roads work tirelessly to make life better for kids who need our help the most. They often do it on shoestring budgets, relying on the dedication and help of staff and a team of volunteers. Their efforts make a profound difference in our communities and the lives of our children, and they deserve our help. By raising money and promoting the designated charities, the Priority Toyota Charity Bowl manages to infuse much-needed cash into the bank accounts of these wonderful organizations.

How Priority Helps

Priority covers the entire cost of hosting the annual Charity Bowl at Old Dominion University, including all planning, fundraising, entertainment and marketing. Last year, the $442,000 raised through the annual celebrity touch football game went to 35 different local children’s charities that protect the health, safety and future of our most vulnerable kids.