ARLINGTON — For the fourth year in a row, Haller Middle School’s stadium will shine bright on Saturday, July 13, as dozens of women dressed in full football gear (with pink hues) battle it out on the field to raise money for the local youth football associations.
Arlington’s Eagle Mamas will fight the Stanwood Spartan moms in the “Battle for the Stilly Puff Cup” — a game of aggressive flag football, known as Powder Puff, at Haller Middle School on Saturday, July 13.
“When it came about, four years ago, we had a lot of kids who couldn’t play football because their parents couldn’t pay fees,” said Randy Williams, president of the Arlington Youth Football Association. “This was back when the economy took a dive. We were racking our brains for a way to cover their fees when we thought, ‘Let’s do a Powder Puff game!’ We played Lakewood the first year, then Lakewood played M-P for the last three years and we played Stanwood the last three years.”
The entry fee for a single person is $5 and for a family is $10. All funds raised by Arlington fans will go to scholarships for players in the AYFA, while funds raised by Stanwood fans goes to support the Stanwood-Camano Youth Football program.
“Last year we incorporated a carnival day,” said Williams. “We had a dunk tank and all the coaches took turns sitting in the dunk tank, so players could go up and try to dunk their coaches. We had putt-putt golf and more.”
The carnival will return again this year, and is set for 3 p.m., also at Haller Middle School’s field.
“We will have lots of games and food at the carnival, and then we are putting on a pre-game show at 6:30 p.m.,” said Melissa Adams, an AYFA mom and event volunteer, who also noted that the game will start at 7 p.m.
“It’s really great because there are a lot of other towns doing this and it’s getting more and more popular,” said Adams, who played as a part of the Eagle Mamas the last two years in a row. “We practice for two to three months because this is our one big fundraiser for the year. We are all just wanting to raise money for scholarships. We’ve been able to keep our prices down for a long time, which is good, through doing stuff like this.”
Arlington and Stanwood will have separate entrances so the teams can split the proceeds.
“The moms practice for 2 to 3 months, 2-3 times per week,” said Williams. “It’s a good overall experience for the moms because, of course, they are doing good and giving back to the community, but they also get to learn the game of football. You can almost watch the change from a mom who learned the game of football and how much more she enjoys watching it.”
Dads from both Arlington and Stanwood will don bright cheerleading outfits to support the players and perform a half-time show.
“We did ‘Thriller’ two years ago and ‘Sexy and I Know It’ last year,” said Williams. “I’ve coached this year and been a cheerleader the last three years. It’s real fun.”
Each year, the Powder Puff football games raise around $10,000 total.
“It all gets set aside for these scholarships,” said Williams. “At the beginning of this year, as soon as a kid comes in who can’t afford it, we give them a generic sponsorship form that they fill out for a scholarship. You don’t have to get too personal about why you need it. A lot of people are struggling.”
In addition to entrance fees, the Powder Puff game will offer raffles, a full concession stand with hotdogs and hamburgers, and all of the money raised from those will also go to cover registration fees for kids in need.
It’s not too late to sign up this year for AYFA. For more information visit www.ayfaeagles.org.
“The thing I like about it is that it’s a great community and this game kind of brings together everyone — not just moms — showing support for these kids. We learn a lot of what our boys are doing. It’s a great learning experience, great for our relationship with our kids as well as other moms in the program,” said Adams. “I’m hoping we can get a lot of people out and involved.”
Haller Middle School is located at 600 E. First St. in Arlington.