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Save-an-Eye Banquet Kicks Off All-Star Festivities

Written by: on Friday, July 23rd, 2021

 

The annual Save-an-Eye banquet is always exciting for the athletes, coaches, organizers, guest speakers, and attendees. And at the 83rd rendition, there were even more reasons to celebrate the local Erie County and Metro student-athletes, along with the philanthropic cause put forth by the Erie Lions Club.

Because the 2020 game and banquet were canceled due to COVID, the over 300 attendees at tonight’s dinner were eager to celebrate the athlete’s successes and the community as a whole. 

“We’re certainly excited to be here together in one room celebrating these players’ successes,” said Lions Club President Linda Moore. “Gathering together tonight feels like a real blessing.”

Highlighting the second oldest high school all-star event in the country were guest speakers and Erie County football greats and former NFL players Brian Milne and Cliff Crosby. 

Milne, a 1991 graduate of Fort LeBoeuf and former star at Penn State, spoke first. A cancer and stroke survivor, Milne reminded the crowd about the importance of overcoming adversity and always finding a way to do the right thing. 

Holding back tears, he directed his comments to the players, “Adversity is something that I guarantee will happen to you sometime in your life…But I’m here to show that you can overcome it.”

Speaking next was Cliff Crosby, an Erie East graduate and former football standout at the University of Maryland. He opened with a light-hearted ribbing of Erie Cathedral Prep before grounding the attendees by emphasizing that the key to success is always being prepared. 

“The message today is don’t stop,” Crosby said to the players. “I don’t know if you understand that you might only have one all-star game like this left…only one more time to put your equipment on and represent the school you are from.”

Following, Metro Team coach Bo Orlando (McDowell) and County Team coach Bill McNally (Girard) introduced their respective rosters. 

Closing the night was the ceremonial coin toss. The County Team won and will make their decision as to whether to kick or receive before the game tomorrow. 

The 83rd annual Save-an-Eye game kicks off at 7 PM tomorrow at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Tickets are still available at Country Fair gas stations throughout Erie County. 

 

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