2003-2007

In 2003 Willie Funk (an employee of Les Schwab and friend of the entire community) was diagnosed with Leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant to have any chance at survival. 
Willie Funk was the reason the Pig Bowl began
Willie Funk was the reason the Pig Bowl began
 In an effort to find a fundraiser to assist Willie and his wife Rhonda with some of the associated costs, the PIG BOWL was reborn.  Local Law Enforcement was set to play the Sudden Service Guys at Les Schwab Tire Center. Church bulletins garnished the slogan “is it David vs. Goliath?  Is it the Yankees vs. the Marlins? No! It’s just a good ‘ole game of: Cops & Schwab-ers’ A flag football game the whole family is sure to enjoy and the players will not soon forget (the pain that is!).”  
The PIG BOWL took place on Saturday November 22nd, 2003 at Quinton Street Ball Park and began at 7:00pm.  Admission was $3 per person or $10 per family.  It was a cold night; in fact it was Very Cold! However, once the first whistle was blown and the players were picking themselves up off the ground with grass stained uniforms, the adrenalin kept just about everyone warm.
Jerry Christianson athletic director of The Dalles High School (TDHS) provided the field, lights, scoreboard, first down markers and more.  Allstate agent Rod Runyon (TDHS football announcer) did a fantastic job of play-by-play announcing. Joe Looney of Aero Print (308 East 2nd street The Dalles) provided uniforms for each team, White ones for the COPS and black ones for the SCHWABERS.  Darin Lingel of Papa Murphy’s Pizza (1323 West 6th St. The Dalles) donated pizza and employees to work the concession stand. Mike Young of Pepsi The Dalles provided all the drinks.  Joe Martin of Acclaiming Christ Through Sports provided the flags and rules (yes there were actually rulesJ). John McCurdy of Nobody’s Business donated a trophy to the winning team and an ongoing plaque to keep track of PIG BOWL winners.  John Huffman (a Pig Bowl player from the past) and Q-104 radio did the bulk of the advertising along with a fabulous front-page article by The Dalles Chronicle:  Roger Nichols. A football game just wouldn’t be complete without the chain gang; Larry Fariclo, John Huffman & Dave Kinser, or Referees; Tony Dirks, Bob McFadden, Chad Smith & Joe Richardson who all graciously donated thier time as well. Emily Keimig sang the National Anthem and Doug Brock ran the scoreboard.
Beginning in the second quarter we allowed the fans to purchase touchdowns for the favorite team. A $50 donation to the Funk family would earn your team 7 points on the scoreboard. By the end of the game the Cops had defeated the Schwabers 14-6 on the field, but the scoreboard read 73-68 in favor of Les Schwab! The Game raised over $410 in Cocessions, over $1700 in ticket sales and over $1000 in purchased touchdowns for a total of $3165.92! In the end God was glorified, the community came together and everyone had a great time. Little did we know, it was the start of a Columbia Gorge Tradition that would be going strong for years to come.

 

The 2004 PIG BOWL took place on Saturday October 16th at 7:00pm. This time the game was played on the Whatonka Football Field, but once again pitted Local Law Enforcement against Les Schwab. The COPS & SCHWABERS rematch was set to begin 

A group of young men and their mentors at an ACTS Buddy Bowl Event
A group of young men and their mentors at an ACTS Buddy Bowl Event

 

An unsuccessful effort was made to find a family in the community with a financial need. Therefore, it was decided that each team would pick their own charitable organization. The Les Schwab Team chose to play for Acclaiming Christ Through Sports and the Law Enforcement Team chose to play for Local Special Olympics Athletes. 

 

Part of the 2004 Pig Bowl Proceeds went to benifit local Special Olympics Athletes
Part of the 2004 Pig Bowl Proceeds went to benifit local Special Olympics Athletes

 

Athletic Director Jerry Christianson’s support was again phenomenal. Aero Print provided replacement uniforms. John McCurdy of Nobody’s Business donated another trophy. Papa Murphy’s and Pepsi of The Dalles once again provided the concessions. Bohn’s Printing donated fancy new PIG BOWL tickets and Rod Runyon did another fantastic job announcing the game, in fact, he invented what was soon to become a fan favorite, a smaller donation with a Pig Noise on the PA system to earn your team more Points!
 
Police Officers from Sherman County, Wasco County, City of The Dalles, Oregon State Police, Wasco County Dispatch and Intertribal Enforcement all helped get the job done against the boys of Les Schwab.  
A highlight at the 2004 event was having Willie Funk (100% cancer free as of 2007) come back to give the opening remarks as well as the opening prayer, plus his wife Rhonda sang the National Anthem! When the dust had settled, the Cops were ahead on the field 36-0 and on the scoreboard 66-34. Since the Cops had won, Special Olympics received 60% of the money raised and ACTS received the other 40%.  Both teams raised a total of over $1500.
The 2005 PIG BOWL was an event not many people will ever forget.  In June of 2005, Christian Bagge, an Oregon National Guardsman, had been riding in a HUM-V when it was ambushed in Iraq. He was rescued by his fellow guardsmen, but ended up loosing both his legs in the tragedy. Christian Bagge had only recently married his high school sweetheart three months before going to Iraq.  PIG BOWL organizers saw an opportunity and ran with it.  The COPS & SCHWABERS were ready to go and the community jumped in with both feet. 

 

Christian & Melissa Bagge
Christian & Melissa Bagge

 

People throughout the Columbia Gorge donated their time money and resources. Jeff Mabrey, Chad Smith, Bob McFadden & Joe Richardson were back as Referees. Steve Hinatsu, Marty Matherly & Del Nicholson returned as the Chain Gang. Gerry Iken spent his second year at the scoreboard controls.  Private 1st Class Joshua Moore and Private 1st Class David Rush of The Dalles National Guard carried in the flag. 
 
 


The 2005 PIG BOWL was held on Saturday September 10th at 7:00pm at the Whatonka Football field. This year’s event added PIG PROGRAMS donated by Staples, as well as The Dalles High school cheerleaders who came to perform and cheer on both teams. A beautiful Framed Photo of the team, later given to the Christian and Melissa, was donated by Marty Hiser of Westwind Frame and Gallery.
Everyone watched in anticipation as Marked Police Vehicles from the Oregon State Police, The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and The Dalles City Police Department escorted Christian and Mellissa Bagge around the track in a vehicle donated by Urness Motors.  Then to the crowds amazement Christian Bagge got out on his own and STOOD UP using his prosthetic legs!  The standing ovation went on forever and everyone was in tears.
Allstate agent Rod Runyon was once again magnificent on the PA system and we made the pig noises official.  During the 1st and 4th period you were allowed to purchase a $50 7 point touchdown for your team, then during the 2nd and 3rd periods 1 point could be purchased with a $7 donation along with a Pig Noise for the whole stadium to hear.
Les Schwab had players from The Dalles, Hood River and their Goldendale store. The Cops pulled players in from The Dalles City Police, Wasco County Sheriffs Office, Oregon State Police, Wasco County Communications dispatch center, NORCOR (Local Jail), and Inter Tribal Enforcement.
At halftime, Tiffany Steinmann sang the “Soldier Song” and people were allowed to come down to the field in order to stand for someone in the military and announce their name on the Microphone. Rhonda Funk then prayed over the family members and friends and Christian Bagge gave a testimony of what happened to him in Iraq and spoke unforgettable words about what truly matters in life. It wasn’t his possessions that came to mind as he lay there bleeding; it was God, his wife, his family and his future in Heaven as a believer in Jesus.
Also at halftime a new PIG BOWL tradition was started with the “Survivor Game”, where the audience was given the opportunity to win a trip for two to Skamania Lodge for a one night stay, and two rounds of golf. Holiday Inn Express at the Portland airport also donated a one night stay, which was auctioned off to the highest bidder.  This year also added a Bounce House and Cotton Candy Machine donated by True Value Just Ask Rental, making the PIG BOWL even more family friendly.
A church bulletin insert was sent to every church in The Dalles and Bohn’s Printing again donated state of the art tickets and legal size posters that were plastered in business windows from the east to the west. Other advertising Heroes included Rhonda Funk & Q104 Radio, Al Win & KODL, The Oregon Veterans Home, Calling Simon & Roger Nichols of The Dalles Chronicle.
 
How did the football game go you ask?  Obviously on the back burner, compared to the rest of the festivities, Les Schwab brought in a few ringers in 2005 Doctor Ryan LeBretton and Doctor Patrick Grimsley to name a few. It must have helped, because the Schwabers beat the Cops on the field 39-26, but the score on the scoreboard was a completely different story. The score had to be reset to 0 several times, as the final score was 276 to 236! Yes, you heard correctly Two Hundred is not a typo. With standing room only on both sides of Whatonka field, people were buying touchdowns and making Pig Noises throughout the game. Rod Runyon was quoted in the paper the next day as saying “every so often I am inclined to actually announce some football” probably because he was so busy keeping track of money and points.
Just prior to their plane leaving town, Law Enforcement Officers were able to present Christian and Melissa Bagge with an initial check of $8590, however with money still coming in that total was raised to well over $9000 with in a matter of days.   

 

Barbara Mann
Barbara Mann

 

The 2006 PIG BOWL was played as a benefit to Barbara Mann of Dufur. Barbara A. (Shough) Mann is a courageous woman who has battled with kidney disease all her life and was in chronic renal failure. Barb continued to work full-time while on dialysis every week while awaiting a kidney transplant. At the time of the PIG BOWL, Barb was on the list for a transplant, however the costs of such a procedure are devastating. Unfortunately her insurance would not cover everything including medications needed for the rest of her life. 
The event took place on Saturday September 30th at 7:00pm at Whatonka Football field. Once again Local Law Enforcement Agencies provided a red and blue escort as Barbara Mann was brought onto the field in a vehicle donated by CH Urness Motors. The crowd gave her a warm welcome and standing ovation as each of the players filed by and gave her a hug.  Youth Pastor Mark Hammer delivered the invocation and Rod Runyon was back on the microphone. However, 2006 added a new twist to the standard Cops & Schwabers battle. This year we mic’d up head official Bob McFadden and before we knew it Bob & Rod were doing a fantastic job of entertaining the crowd.  There were bogus penalties and practical jokes. Someone in the stands even donated money to see the officials get on all fours and act like a pig!  It can’t be proven but I believe one official actually played quarterback and threw a pass.
 
Tickets and posters were provided by Bohn’s Printing and Staples donated the PIG Programs. John McCurdy did another trophy and the COPS team bought fancy new uniforms with a discount from Aero Print. Jared Sawyer of True Value and Just Ask Rental was back with the bounce house. Tammy Dirks of Q-104, The Oregon Veterans Home and Roger Nichols of The Dalles Chronicle did a great job of getting the word out and once again filled the stands with wonderful people that help make the Columbia Gorge one of the best Communities in the state. Gayle Palen and Skamania Lodge donated another Night Getaway, Dinner and Golf for Two, which was played for in our second successful “Survivor Halftime”.  A big thank you again to Athletic Director Jerry Christianson and School District 21 for providing the field lights and accessories for another successful event.
The Schwabers had players from Hood River, John Day, The Dalles, Bend and Goldendale and yes, they brought back Doctor LeBreton, Doctor Grimsley and added Ringer Buzz Smith whose blazing speed and sticky hands helped propel the Schwabers to a 33 to 6 shellacking of the visiting Cops. The officers didn’t feel too bad, as the scoreboard read 132 to 89 in their favor. Not to mention the purpose of the event… Barbara Mann was sent home with over $5000 to assist in her transplant costs and better yet as of 2007 Barbara had received her new kidney and is currently living a healthy productive life.
With the Fourth Annual Pig Bowl complete the series was now tied 2-2 with everyone looking forward to the tiebreaker in 2007.   Would it be the COPS or the SCHWABERS earning bragging rights?  It actually turned out to be neither.  When the decision was made to play the 2008 Pig Bowl in honor of fallen Klickitat Sheriff Deputy Peter Garland it made perfect since to make a critical change to the team rosters and a new rivalry was born.
 
Oregon Law Enforcement vs. Washington Law Enforcement.