A friendly rivalry between two neighboring high schools in Atherton is helping hundreds of middle school students in underserved communities on the Peninsula get a leg up in their academics.
The Peninsula Bridge Program benefits from the proceeds of the annual Valparaiso Bowl, two football games junior varsity and varsity that pit the Sacred Heart Prep Gators against the Menlo School Knights.
Both schools have hosted the games their Valparaiso Avenue campuses. The fundraising football match was conceived of nine years ago. That bowl raised about $1,000, according to a Bridge spokesperson. This year that number is expected to be close to $70,000.
This year, for the first time, the games will be held at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. The date is Friday, Nov. 11. The JV game will start at 4 p.m. and the varsity game at 7 p.m.
Admission is $5 for students and $10 for adults.
The Old Pro will be cooking up pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches, hot dogs, and chicken Caesar wraps.
Menlo volunteers will be selling baked goods. Gate and concession proceeds, plus matching gifts from both schools' Circles of Champions, will go to the Bridge program.
Last summer the nonprofit Bridge program provided 356 students, in grades 5 through 8, with courses at Castilleja, Crystal Springs, Menlo, Sacred Heart, St. Joseph's, St. Matthew's and Woodside Priory campuses. The hope is to grow that number to more than 400 students next summer.