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Charlotte, Denver United Ways make friendly Super Bowl wager for books

The United Way of Central Carolinas and Mile High United Way in Denver are facing off in a book drive seeking to enhance literacy in the classroom.
The United Way of Central Carolinas and Mile High United Way in Denver are facing off in a book drive seeking to enhance literacy in the classroom. Courtesy of the United Way of Central Carolinas

As if bets between rabbis, legislators and newspaper publishers weren’t enough, the United Way of Central Carolinas is getting in on the fray with a Super Bowl wager that aims to enhance literacy.

The Charlotte-based nonprofit is joining forces with the Mile High United Way in Denver to raise money for books. The groups plan to work with local schools to donate the books in honor of the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos.

The two teams will face each other Sunday at Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif.

“We’re confident Bené (Benwikere) and the guys will be able to take care of business on Sunday, but now we have a chance to take on Denver in the classroom,” United Way executive director Sean Garrett said in a video.

(A short aside: Although he’s in California this week, Panthers cornerback Benwikere won’t play in the big game after breaking his leg in a match against Atlanta. He serves as a United Way NFL ambassador).

To help buy books for students, go to the United Way’s website and look for the “United Way Super Bowl Showdown” page, or text SB50CHAR to 41444.

But what’s a little football-centric charity without a friendly wager? It is the Super Bowl after all.

Garrett and Christine Benero, Mile High’s president and CEO, have agreed to wear the Super Bowl champions’ team colors to the schools when they deliver the books.

“Whether you’re a diehard Panthers or Broncos fan, in the end, it really doesn’t matter,” Garrett said in a news release. “Our communities’ kids come out as the champs.”

Jonathan McFadden: 704-358-6045, @JmcfaddenObsGov

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