To mark the last 50 years of the Big 30 Charities Classic game, where graduated high school football players in New York face off against players from Pennsylvania at Parkway Field, a commemorative Zippo lighter and Case knife set will be sold during the parade and game on Saturday.
“I work in New York and over there, and here, it is outstanding that the more people you speak to there are so many connections back to this game,” said Brian South, president of the Big 30 game. “Zippo and Case provided a memorial set for the 25th anniversary of the Big 30 Charities Classic game, so it was only appropriate that we have a set for the 50th anniversary.”
Sets of limited-edition Zippo lighters each with a Case knife, numbered 2 through 50, will be on sale Saturday during the Big 30 parade (2:30 p.m. Saturday) at 88 Main St., as well as during the game, which starts at 7 p.m. Sets may be purchased for $175.
Also, limited-edition Zippo lighters, numbers 52 through 100, will also be for sale in the amount of $75 each.
The 01 set will be raffled off at $20 per chance and the winner announced during the fourth quarter of the game. The winner must be present during the game to receive the set.
“These are great collectibles for this memorable 50th anniversary event and these are the first sets available for Big 30 since the 25th anniversary Zippo lighter and Case knife set,” said Big 30 vice president Jim Giordano.
The Big 30 game raises funds that are distributed to individuals in need and charitable organizations in the Pennsylvania counties of McKean, Cameron, Elk, Potter and Warren, as well as the New York counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua.
Giordano and South both have been serving on the committee for the past 12 years, in the footsteps of their fathers before them, who both also served on the Big 30 committee. South’s father, Bob, was the president of the committee until his untimely death in April — son Brian stepped up to fill his shoes. The late Bob South served on the Big 30 committee for 49 years.
Saturday will mark the 49th game in the 50-year history of the Big 30 — the game was not played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were both kiddie labor back in the day and spent our childhoods involved with the Big 30 game,” Giordano said. “My dad was an original member on the committee, so we have both been around this game for a very long time.”
During halftime and before the announcement of the winning ticket for the Zippo lighter and Case knife set, five donations will be given away to organizations and individuals in need by former committee members and players from the past five decades, Giordano said.
“It wasn’t easy to track everyone down,” said Giordano. “But we did and we have two great teams with two great coaches and the practices have been going really well. Both Brian and I are looking forward to this year’s 50th anniversary game.”
For more information, visit http://www.big30football.org/.