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Big 33 closing its doors

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The Big 33 Scholarship Foundation, known for the Big 33 Football Classic, an all-star game featuring top high school players from Pennsylvania and other states, is closing its doors, the foundation said today.

"We no longer have the capacity and resources to continue operating the Big 33 organization," said Jeanne DeDay, president of the foundation.

Last month, the foundation's longtime executive director died.

The organization said contributions have been declining over the past 15 years and the debt has become unsustainable.

The Big 33 game, which is celebrating 60 years this year, will be produced by the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association, according to the foundation's board of directors.

The game, which has been played since 1957, raises money for academic scholarships and other charitable activities. The organization said restricted funds that were raised for scholarships will continue to support the educational endeavors of recipients.

George Connor, executive director of the Dauphin County Office of Community and Economic Development and also vice president of the Big 33's board of directors, said the foundation is currently assessing its financial obligations with attorneys and how it will be dissolved.

He said he couldn't comment on foundation assets and debts.

Connor said the foundation is hopeful another group will administer the charitable activities and continue the mission.

"We don't know what the future looks like, but the game is going to continue," he said.

Dauphin County officials also intend to keep the game in the county, he added. The foundation has benefited from county tourism grants that come that come from hotel taxes.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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Leigh January 12, 2017 9:42 am

Sad, I was on the very first cheerleading squad. I believe 31 years ago.

Deb C. January 12, 2017 8:52 am

Jason Scott, were you aware of what SueH stated?

SueH January 12, 2017 1:34 am

Eleven years ago, this organization lost control of $268,000+ by generally misappropriating funds from the game to pay unrelated credit card bills and not paying out scholarship money.