While games like the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl were created to spur tourism, drawing fans to iconic locales like Los Angeles County and Miami, and contests like the Quick Lane Bowl draw revenue from sponsorships and advertising, the Peach Bowl was created with a different goal in mind—charity.
Peach Bowl President Gary Stokan said that his organization emphasizes giving back to the community.
“We’re the most charitable bowl organization in the country. We’ve given 58.2 million dollars out since 2002,” Stokan said. “Part of our mission is to give back, and we do so humbly.”
The Peach Bowl organization makes contributions both to the city of Atlanta, where the game takes place, and in the communities of the programs invited to the game.
“Out of the 58.2 million, we recently donated 20 million dollars to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to eradicate childhood cancer,” Stokan said. “We have seven [clinical] trials now, [and] one of the trials is associated with the University of Pittsburgh.”
The players who take part in the Peach Bowl will do their part to give back as well, spending time with the children at an Atlanta-area hospital as part of the bowl week festivities.
The organization honors the legacy of one of Atlanta’s favored sons, U.S. Representative and civil rights activist John Lewis.
“We’re going to commit 100,000 dollars to an endowed scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh for playing in our bowl game,” Stokan said. “It’ll go into the John Lewis Legacy of Courage Scholarship. It’ll be endowed for underprivileged kids to come to [Pitt].”