---- — By The Daily Item
MOUNT CARMEL -- Just the game itself is generally enough to have fans flocking to the Silver Bowl long before the gates open for Friday night's annual football showdown between Mount Carmel and visiting Southern Columbia.
This year, there's even more reason to attend.
For starters, the Mount Carmel and Southern teams have agreed to wear gold socks for the game to support pediatric cancer awareness.
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month, and Geisinger Janet Weis Children's Hospital's ThinkBIG Pediatric Cancer Fund is making the socks available to help raise awareness.
Representatives from ThinkBIG will be on hand during the game to answer questions about pediatric cancer. The fund helps local pediatric cancer patients.
The program aims to offset stress for pediatric oncology families by providing financial support for unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. Donations and proceeds go directly to help families treated at Janet Weis Children's Hospital and throughout the entire Geisinger network.
Also, prior to the game, the flag will remain a half mast in memory of Richard Beierschmitt, a long-time teacher, administrator and superintendent of the Mount Carmel Area School District, who died last month. Beierschmitt also performed a short stay with the Southern Columbia School District as its superintendent.
When the National Anthem and Mount Carmel alma mater are played, members of the Beierschmitt family will raise the flag in his honor and memory.
Finally, at halftime, in cooperation with the Ed Romance Hall of Fame, the Mount Carmel district will honor the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Red Tornadoes football team. Former members of the team will be honored and publicly recognized.
The 1963 team had a 10 -1 record with its only loss coming to Pottsville. This was the last team of the Mount Carmel Joint School District. The following year, Kulpmont merged with Mount Carmel and Mount Carmel Township and became the Mount Carmel Area School District. This team also had the distinction of being the second Red Tornadoes team coached by legendary coach Joe "Jazz" Diminick.