Three UP high school football programs receive All-Star donations from UP Football All-Star Game

Ironwood, Norway and Mid Pen football programs will each receive $1,000, which can be used for anything that benefits their football program.
U.P. Football All-Star Game logo
U.P. Football All-Star Game logo(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 8:15 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2022 at 8:16 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Three U.P. high school football programs will receive donations from the U.P. Football All-Star Game. The game continued its giving ways this year and Ironwood, Norway and Mid Pen football programs will each receive $1,000, which can be used for anything that benefits their football program.

“When this game was started, it was always a goal that we would eventually be able to donate directly to all of the high school football programs throughout the U.P.,” said Todd Goldbeck.

Every year, the schools are picked at random and once a school has been selected, it will be removed from the lottery until all other schools have been chosen once. After last year, every school in the U.P. had received the donation once, so the lottery started over this year by picking three new schools.

“The lottery is a very fun way to select the schools,” said Goldbeck. “Every program is eligible, and it does not matter how successful the team is; everyone has a chance and gets a turn. It is very important that all U.P. programs are supported, so that each school can maintain a competitive team. I was very pleased to hear that all three schools that were chosen have specific plans for the donations and they will help their football programs in a positive way. That is what the U.P. Football All-Star Game is all about. This game would not be possible without the schools providing a positive environment for all of these student-athletes to succeed. Giving back to their football programs will hopefully help each school continue their individual football tradition.”

Along with the three schools being selected, the Black and Red All-Star head coaches will get to take home half of the footballs used during the week leading up to the game.

Head coach for Ishpeming, George Niemi and Menominee head coach Joe Noha will get to take home 12 footballs to their hometown team. The practice jerseys are also donated, with this year’s navy/gold jerseys going to Lake Linden-Hubbell High School, and the black/white jerseys being given to Houghton High School.

Along with the football and jerseys, 1,500 pounds of food was also donated to St. Vincent de Paul food pantry, as well as a cash donation to Bay Cliff Health Camp, which are two organizations that operate on contributions from the community. The 50/50 raffle that took place at the U.P. All-star game totaled $1,960 total, so the individual who won got 50%, while the All-Star Game’s half was donated to the Mid Pen football program for their assistance in selling tickets.

The Jack Audette Character Award was also awarded to Justin Jurmu of Marquette and Chance Bridgers of Hancock. The award is voted on by each of the two coaching staffs and comes with a $500 scholarship, which is funded directly by the All-Star coaches.

“When the game is over, I always want to be in a position to say, ‘The All-Star Game did very well again this year. That means we gave back to many different groups/schools and the players had fun throughout the week, while also reinforcing some important life lessons they can take with them moving forward in their lives,’” Goldbeck said. “I think we accomplished that again this year.”

Next year’s date for the U.P. All-Star Game has not yet been confirmed yet.

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