Jackson Rivals Come Together to Raise Scholarship Money

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Most of the kids playing in the annual Jackson High versus Lumen Christi game won't be getting a college football scholarship.

But many of them will probably get help paying for school because of the game.

Friday night at Jackson High marked the second annual Promise Bowl and organizer Kriss Giannetti said it's no ordinary football game.

"It's like a mini Super Bowl," Giannetti said. "It's Jackson's mini Super Bowl and it's exciting."

The game pits crosstown rivals Jackson High and Lumen Christi against each other to raise money for the Promise Zone, a $2 million dollar fundraising initiative launched in 2011 to fund student scholarships.

"When we have a good educated group of folks in our community it does well," she said. "We are all part of a cradle-to-career initiative to get 60 percent of our residents either with a valuable credential or college degree."

Last year Giannetti said they packed more than 5,000 people into Dungy Field, about four times more than the average football crowd, and raised more than $25,000.

Jackson Mayor Martin Griffin who was on hand at the game to help with the opening coin toss, said the fundraising initiative will have a big impact on the community.

"It's helping the local students go to college, it's helping pay part of the way and I don't know a kid out thee that isn't glad to get some sort of help for college," Griffin said.

Though the game is only between Jackson High and Lumen Christi, the scholarships will benefit students who also attend Jackson Christian, The da Vinci Institute, and T.A. Wilson Academy.

Students will only be able to use the scholarships to attend area colleges.

The Jackson Promise has to raise about $2 million to be self-sufficient for two years before it can start handing out scholarships.

So far the initiative has raised more than $70,000 since it began in 2011.

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