Blondes vs. Brunettes (charity event)
Blondes vs. Brunettes is a powderpuff football game played in cities across the United States. Proceeds from the event are donated to The Alzheimer's Association. Games have been held in more than 40 cities and have cumulatively raised more than $15 Million for the care, support and research efforts of the Association.
The annual contests were started by Sara Allen Abbott whose father, Texas State Representative Joseph Hugh Allen, died of Alzheimer's disease in 2008. Looking for a way to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association, Abbott organized a powder puff football game in tribute to her father, a lifelong football fan. Abbott, who was working and residing in Washington D.C. at the time, wanted a more hands-on fundraiser in comparison to the many charitable organizations which were raising money predominantly through formal black tie events. Along with her sister, she thought a powder puff football game that leveraged popular culture's blonde vs. brunette rivalry would be more appealing to a younger set of donors with a $20 ticket price to provide a low cost way for attendees to support a good cause.
In the fall of 2005, the first blonde vs. brunette powder puff football game was played at Hains Point in Washington D.C. and raised $10,000. Subsequently, the game searched for a more suitable home and moved around the Washington D.C area before settling in at George Washington University’s Mount Vernon Athletic Field in 2009. Since its inception, the game has received considerable publicity to include feature articles in the Washington Post and has raised over $500,000 in the Washington, D.C. alone.
By 2012, Blondes vs. Brunettes Powderpuff Football was being played in cities across the United States and each city has a slightly different approach to the game. “In Washington, the rivalry is intense. If friends are on opposite teams, they usually don't talk the weekend of the games," Abbott shared. Cities that host the game include: Albany, Amarillo, Akron, Atlanta, Austin, Bakersfield, CA, Baton Rouge, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Burlington, IA, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbia, SC, Columbus,Denver, Evansville, Houston, Hudson Valley (New Rochelle, NY), Indianapolis, Jackson, Kansas City, Lexington, Los Angeles Louisville, Lubbock, TX, Madison, WI, Minneapolis, New York, North Alabama (Decatur, AL), Phoenix, Plainview, TX, Raleigh, North Carolina, San Diego, Santa Barbara, CA, San Francisco. Tallahassee, FL, Washington, D.C. and Wichita, KS
Abbott has received national publicity and multiple awards for her efforts in raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. She hopes to expand the event to more cities and eventually establish a "Blondes vs. Brunettes Super Bowl".
The game's increasing popularity in the Dallas-Fort Worth area resulted in the 2012 game moving to the Cotton Bowl to accommodate the larger crowds.
Rules on hair color
An NBC Washington story cited participants changing their hair color in the weeks before the game and switching sides. Other media stories have highlighted intense workouts, team meetings that feature inspirational movies such as Remember the Titans, and participants practicing their trash-talking to include brunettes trying to think up ways to intimidate their blonde opponents.
- Blondes vs. Brunettes Powderpuff Fundraiser
- Staff writer (September 15, 2010) "Blondes vs. Brunettes: Grassroots Effort Scores for Alzheimer's Association” The Non-Profit Times Retrieved March 16, 2012 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2012-09-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Argetsinger, Amy (November 13, 2013) “Athletes First, Stylistas Second” The Washington Post Retrieved November 15, 2011
- Amarillo Globe News "Alzheimer's Association's Blondes vs. Brunettes" Retrieved October 6, 2012
- "Welcome to Blondes vs. Brunettes Austin"
- "Western New York Powderpuff Fundraiser"
- “Blondes vs. Brunettes - Chicago” Archived November 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- ”Blondes vs. Brunettes – Columbus”
- Staff writer (June 7, 2012) "Brunettes Trounce Blondes in Benefit for Alzheimer's Association of Colorado" The Denver Post. Retrieved October 6, 2012
- ”Blondes vs. Brunettes – Evansville”
- "Welcome to 2012 Blondes vs. Brunettes - Houston, Texas"
- Staff writer (May 19, 2012) “Brunettes Defeat Blondes in Football Game Benefiting Alzheimer's Association” ABC 13 Houston Retrieved May 30, 2012
- “Blondes vs. Brunettes – Indianapolis”
- “Welcome to 2012 Blondes vs. Brunettes, Jackson, MS”
- "Blondes vs. Brunettes – Kansas City"
- ”Blondes vs. Brunettes, Lexington, KY”
- “Blondes vs. Brunettes – Los Angeles”
- Staff writer (June 13, 2012) “Blondes vs. Brunettes for a Good Cause” WDRB Louisville. Retrieved October 6, 2012
- Hopfensperger, Jean (October 14, 2013) "Philanthropy beat: Blondes vs. Brunettes flag football tackles Alzheimer's" Star-Tribune Retrieved November 16, 2013
- “Blondes vs. Brunettes - New York” Archived June 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Staff writer (March 3, 2012) "Alzheimer's Association Fundraiser" NBC New York. Retrieved October 6, 2012
- “Blondes vs. Brunettes – Raleigh”
- ”Blondes vs. Brunettes – San Diego” Retrieved October 7, 2012
- “Blondes vs. Brunettes – San Francisco”
- MSNBC, The Daily Rundown with Nora O'Donnell: "Making a Difference With Powder Puff Philanthropy" aired December 30, 2010
- The Alcalde, University of Texas Alumni Magazine: "Class Notes" (Sara M. Allen Abott) December, 2010, page 90. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
- Pressly, Ty (August 3, 2012) "Blondes vs. Brunettes for Charity - Cotton Bowl to host Blondes vs. Brunettes football game on Aug. 11" NBC Dallas-Fort Worth Channel 5. Retrieved October 6, 2012
- Argetsinger, Amy (November 14, 2011) “Hair’s The Thing: Blondes vs. Brunettes is a Win-Win” The Washington Post Retrieved March 12, 2012 Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
- Michael, Kate (July 6, 2011) ”Do or Dye: Blondes vs. Brunettes Gear Up for Football Fundraiser” NBC 4 Washington.com
- The Wall Street Journal On-Line ”Splitting Hairs for Charity”