SCRANTON ‚?? It‚??s a message that has stuck with Matt McGloin ever since he left Scranton to head to Penn State. His parents, Paul and Cathy, made sure he would remember his roots.
‚??We always told Matt from the day he left home, ‚??Don‚??t ever forget where you came from,‚??‚?Ě Paul McGloin said. ‚??Give back, and give back at home.‚?Ě
Just two weeks after his playing days with the Nittany Lions ended, the record-setting quarterback has already started on that.
Along with his family, Matt McGloin is supporting the Children‚??s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania beginning with a pair of events on Dec. 15 to raise awareness and funds for the CAC, a child abuse intervention center.
‚??Tailgate for Kids‚?Ě will be held from 1-4 p.m., followed by ‚??An Evening with Matt McGloin and Friends‚?Ě from 7-10 p.m. Both will be held at St. Mary‚??s Center in Scranton.
Tickets for the afternoon are $10, with children under 12 admitted free. Tickets for the evening are $50 and can be ordered online at cacnepa.org.
Penn State players and coaches are scheduled to join McGloin at both events, which will feature games and autographs for kids in the afternoon and then a cocktail reception for adults in the evening. NCAA rules prohibit the center from advertising specific players who still have eligibility remaining.
Matt McGloin stopped back in Scranton this week after a trip to Arkansas to receive the Burlsworth Trophy as the country‚??s top player who began his career as a walk-on.
‚??This (city) was great to me growing up,‚?Ě McGloin said outside the CAC on Mulberry Street. ‚??The support in high school that I had with athletics and academics was everything. I told my family once I finished I was going to do anything I can to make Scranton a better place.‚?Ě
This specific cause was originally pitched to Paul McGloin, who then brought it up to his son this past summer before his senior season with the Lions began.
In light of the child abuse scandal at Penn State, the family thought the CAC was an appropriate outlet to support.
‚??I was on board since the beginning with it,‚?Ě Matt McGloin said. ‚??Especially everything that‚??s happened down at Penn State. When things happen like this in your hometown, you want to do everything you can to make it a better place.
‚??Unfortunately things like this do happen, but we have to reach out and help.‚?Ě
According to a CAC release, in 2011 the organization ‚??provided services to 843 children, of which 85 percent were sexual abuse cases. This year, to date, more than 1,000 children have been referred to the center.‚?Ě
‚??(The figures) just blew my mind,‚?Ě Paul McGloin said. ‚??And I said we have to get this message out somehow. This just can‚??t go on. So we went down to Penn State the next weekend and I told Matt, ‚??Here‚??s the deal.‚?? And he goes, ‚??Let‚??s do it.‚?? So he was for it from day one.
‚??He just couldn‚??t believe (those numbers). We just talked about it. He said, ‚??Dad, I just can‚??t believe that. It‚??s Scranton. ‚?Ľ Everybody knows everybody. How would you even think that was going on in our area like that?‚??
‚??I‚??m really hoping that this is Matt‚??s annual (event) and every year he comes back, no matter where he is. That he continues doing this.‚?Ě
Having just won a national award after breaking a slew of Penn State records, the quarterback‚??s visibility is as high as ever, particularly in his hometown, where he helped lead West Scranton to a District 2 title.
The CAC hopes that notoriety will bring added attention to its cause.
‚??This means more to us than fundraising,‚?Ě CAC executive director Mary Ann LaPorta said of McGloin‚??s involvement. ‚??The money‚??s not important. Although we need to be sustained, what we really want is to engage the community, to inspire the community and to coordinate the protective measures that we can have for our children. And Matt certainly is a leader here, not only on the field.‚?Ě
Penn State coach Bill O‚??Brien was named a finalist for a third separate national coach of the year award on Wednesday. The first-year Lions coach is one of three finalists for the Maxwell Football Club‚??s award along with Notre Dame‚??s Brian Kelly and Kansas State‚??s Bill Snyder.
O‚??Brien is also a finalist for the Eddie Robinson and Liberty Mutual coach of the year awards. He previously won both Big Ten coach of the year awards, one from the media and one from his fellow coaches.
The Maxwell Club‚??s winner will be announced on Dec. 19. The Robinson and Liberty Mutual will be awarded on Dec. 13 and Jan. 7, respectively.