18th Annual Kati Fisher Powder Puff Bowl Raises Over $23,000 for Scholarships
Since 2007, the Northwest community has united around an event that has turned tragedy into hope. The Kati Fisher Powder Puff Bowl, a flag football game between the junior and senior girls at Northwest High School, fosters school spirit while raising money for scholarships through the game and sales of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies. The 2023-24, the 18th annual game, raised $23,396.75.
Kati is the daughter of Nancy and Bob Fisher, both of whom are Northwest staff members. Nancy works in the Northwest High School counseling office, while Bob is a teacher and coach.
“Kati was born with several heart defects; Ventricular Septal Defect and Coarctation of the Aorta. Her first year was a constant shuffle in and out of Cardinal Glennon Hospital, undergoing repairs that eventually led to Pulmonary Hypertension,” said Nancy. Her challenges did not diminish her love of Northwest, or football.
“On her 8th birthday, she wished for a Northwest High School football-themed celebration, surrounded by friends cheering on the Lions from the stands, eating snacks from the concession stand,” said Nancy. “It was a day of joy, forever in our memories.”
Sadly, Kati passed away at the age of 13. It is that love of her school and football that drives the Powder Puff game, a game that honors her memory while supporting the academic goals of students.
Much of the money raised for the scholarships comes from the shirts and hoodies sold prior to, and at, the event each year. The design has remained the same all of these years, and was inspired by Kati’s favorite football shirt.
“The shirt was designed by Bob for football camp. It became her signature wear, especially on Fridays when she proclaimed it to be a ‘Wear Blue Every Friday’ day,” Nancy said. “When the Powder Puff shirt came into play, it bore the emblem of "Kati Fisher Bowl."
The Kati Fisher Powder Puff Bowl t-shirts are a familiar sight around the Northwest community and beyond.
“I envisioned it traveling the world, carrying Kati's story. My request for people to take their Powder Puff shirts on their travels and share pictures became a heartwarming endeavor. Pinning those locations on my world map became a testament to Kati's global presence. The game became our family's healing haven, injecting color into students' lives through a seemingly simple game that evolved into much more.”
Nancy said that the sale of the shirts “skyrocketed,” exceeding 10,000. The increased number of shirts sold increased the number of and amount of scholarships awarded each year.
Nancy said, “Last year, the game generated $16,000, and we were able to award 32 scholarships. Our peak year was 2012, when Kati would have graduated. The game earned over $23,000 for scholarships.” Nancy added “The night was undoubtedly a success.”
The Kati Fisher Powder Puff Bowl is a memorial to a girl who loved her school, her community, and football. The game is a labor of love from the entire Fisher family.
As Nancy said, “One of my cherished sayings goes ‘At times, our light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.’ That spark, to me, is Powder Puff.”