EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- As spring football practice hits its strides for the Oregon Ducks, a different role for the team on Saturday, swapping out footballs for bowling balls to help the community.
The Ducks held its second annual charity bowling tournament at Emerald Lanes in Eugene on Saturday, April 14th, 2012.
The tournament is run in conjunction with the Oregon Athletic Department's “O Heroes” program, which teams athletes with causes and events that benefit the community.
Last year, the first tournament raised several thousand dollars for the Officer Chris Kilcullen Memorial Scholarship Fund, in honor of the fallen Eugene Police Officer. Organizers chose to benefit the organization again this year.
“Even though we're approaching the one year anniversary, he hasn't been forgotten,”said Chip Kelly, the Oregon Ducks football team's head coach.
“He touched a lot of peoples lives and its really an overall issue of what our law enforcement does for us, just trying to say thank you for what you do so that we're safe,” said Kelly.
The scholarship is set to be dolled out for the first time in September 2012 to a student who is “passionate about serving their community.” Organizers hope to continue to award the scholarship annual after 2012.
Kelly says he's proud of the community spirit he sees through the team through events like this. Nearly the entire football team took part in Saturday's tournament, teaming up with other community members to bowl.
“The people in this town are special and that's what makes this place special so, anytime our players get a chance to say thank you our players will take advantage of it,” said Kelly.
Officer Chris Kilcullen's family members participated in Saturday's tournament along family member of Rainer Police Chief Ralph Painter, who was killed in the line of duty in 2011.
The total funds raised in this year's tournament will be announced during halftime at the Ducks spring football on April 28th, 2012.
For more information on the scholarship, visit the group's Facebook page at the following link: