You've heard of the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl but how about the Cereal Bowl?
That’s the aptly named new contest between the Barberton and Stow courts to see which can collect the most boxes of cereal for the Battered Women’s Shelter in the next two weeks.
Barberton Judges David Fish and Todd McKenney and Clerk Diana Stevenson will face off against Stow Judges Kim Hoover and Lisa Coates and Clerk Diana Colavecchio. Fish and Hoover are serving as captains for the teams.
The judges saw this epic battle of south-versus-north as a way to promote the courts, beat the winter doldrums and help a worthy cause. If all goes well, they hope to make it an annual tradition.
Fish and Hoover both are confident in their court’s chances.
“I think because there hasn’t really been a true champion in Barberton since Jack Greynolds left,” Hoover said, referring to the legendary Barberton basketball coach. “They won’t sell Wheaties in Barberton. You can buy it at any store in Stow.”
“I think generally because we’re of heartier stock than the ‘Stowflakes’ who shut down because their tootsies got a little cold while we stayed open,” Fish bragged, referring to how Stow court shut down during the cold weather last week while the Barberton court didn’t.
Terri Heckman, executive director of the Battered Women’s Shelter, appreciates the courts choosing her agency as the beneficiary of the contest. She said she welcomes any opportunity for people to think and talk about the problem of domestic abuse.
“I think it’s a win,” she said.
The Battered Women’s Shelter was among several nonprofit agencies that were recently feeling the pinch during the federal government shutdown. Though funding has now been restored, Heckman said the agency welcomes and appreciates help from the public at any time.
Heckman said the shelter, which serves three meals a day to about 140 people, goes through 25 to 30 boxes of cereal each week. Cereal is served at breakfast and is on the counter all the time for residents to enjoy when they want.
“This cereal will probably last us up until the summer,” she said of the contest’s collection.
Heckman wasn’t willing to make a prediction about which court would prevail.
“I think it’s going to come down to the last day,” she said.
Heckman, though, said Fish is ultra-competitive and someone may want to keep an eye on whether he stuffs the donation box at the last minute with his own offerings.
“Whatever it takes,” Fish admitted.
Fish and Hoover attended a judicial conference in Columbus, where they learned lots of important stuff — and worked on cereal insults.
The best from Hoover: “We had to include McKenney because Fish couldn’t spell ‘cereal’ ” and “McKenney thinks Captain Crunch works for the sheriff’s office.”
The best from Fish: “We just think Kim Hoover is so arrogant he thinks Special K is named after him” and “we also heard that Judge Coates wouldn’t buy Count Chocula for her kids because she believed he was a ‘cereal’ killer.”
The contest officially began Jan. 31 and will conclude at the end of the day Friday, Feb. 15.
Hoover said he plans to have Fish announce his total first, so he can ensure Stow takes home the prize. The losing judge must buy the winner a helping of the best food either city has to offer.
“We’re willing to concede he wins in food — Barberton chicken,” Hoover said. “Stow has nothing to compare.”
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705, firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.