Quarterback McGloin: 'I'm part of the CAC team'

Football stars give big boost to center dedicated to helping abused and neglected children

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  • Matt McGloin, a former Oakland Raiders quarterback who grew up in Scranton, signs the shirt of a young fan. (Photo by Jerry Goldberg)

  • Matt McGloin, a former Oakland Raiders quarterback who grew up in Scranton, spent the day signing autographs for a non-stop line of fans. (Photo by Jerry Goldberg)

  • Penn State cheerleaders demonstrated some fancy moves. (Photo by Jerry Goldberg)

  • From left: Catherine and Paul McGloin, the Penn State Mascot, and Kathy Zielinski of the Children's Advocacy Center, the "Tailgate" chair (Photo by Jerry Goldberg)

By the numbers

1,411 — Number of children and adolescents given forensic interviews, medical assessments, trauma therapy and child advocacy services in 2013 at the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC).
210 percent — Increase in the number of children seen at the CAC since 2004.
9,500 — Number of children and adolescents CAC has helped since opening its doors in 1998.
1,200 — Number of adults and children in communities throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania that the CAC has provided training and education to in 2013.
200 — Number of medical professionals who received advanced training on child abuse symptoms and reporting requirements in 2013.
6 — Number of child abuse cases that came to the CAC center in need of help on a single day — Friday, Feb. 28, the day before “Tailgate” party.
1-800-932-0313 — The Childline number to call if you suspect a child is being abused.

By Jerry Goldberg

— How do you raise $20K in a day? Invite some football stars to lunch.

An NFL invasion took place in Scranton on March 1 led by the star attraction, Matt McGloin, a former Oakland Raiders quarterback who grew up in Scranton. The event, "Tailgate for Kids," has so far raised more than $20,000 for the Children’s Advocacy Center in Scranton, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and teens who have suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of friends, family or strangers. Its teen advocacy center is the first of its kind in the nation.

“I am always in awe of the passion, the tireless efforts and professionalism of the staff at the Children’s Advocacy Center," said McGloin. "Unfortunately, there is a need for their services and if you just look at the sheer numbers of children they served last year alone they play an important role in the community. I simply want to help and I promised to do everything I can to help the center and what they do. I have played on many teams during my life, but I am extremely honored to be part of the CAC team. This is part of giving back.”

St. Mary’s Church Center on Mifflin Avenue was filled with kids and adults to meet and greet McGloin along with Penn State Assistant Football Coach Herb Hand and some Penn State cheerleaders. McGloin was accompanied by some friends: Henry Hynoski, a New York Giants Superbowl Champion; Mike Farrell, Denver Broncos; Matt Stankewitch, Jacksonville Jaguars; Derek Moye, Pittsburgh Steelers; and Penn State Football players J.R. Refice, Ryan Scherer, Andrew Goodman, Jake Fagnano, Mike Fuhrman, Pete Massaro, Mike Yancich and Eric Shrive.

CAC makes an impression

A dedicated volunteer at the center, Dave Evanko, had met McGloin and his father, Paul, at St. Ann’s Novena in Scranton. He told them about the CAC and its work. Mc Gloin and his dad visited the center to see for themselves. McGloin decided he wanted to be part of the “team,” and do whatever he could to help out.

Part of what makes CAC so special is that it cuts out the layered bureaucratic procedures that interfere with getting a frightened and vulnerable young person to ask for help.

At the "Tailgate" party, McGloin and friends sat at a long table, greeting fans and signing autographs. They signed T-shirts, sweat shirts, footballs, and photos. The line was nonstop the entire day. McGloin's parents, Paul and Catherine McGloin, and one of his two brothers, John, attended.

Paul said he was very proud of his son and that he loved sports from a very early age.

“Matt was a mascot for the West Side Football Youth League when he was three years old," Paul said.

"Sports for Matt was always very exciting, and he is a humble person who reaches out to help when he can,” said his mom, Catherine.

600 families attend

For a $10 donation, children accompanied by an adult enjoyed games and hit up Matt and other players for autographs and pictures. At 7 p.m., a private reception was held with the players for a $100 donation. Assistant Penn State Coach Hand gave a motivational speech that got a standing ovation.

Executive Director Mary Ann LaPorta said the event was amazing — “blown out of the water" is how she put it. More than 600 families attended. PNC Bank was the main sponsor. More than $20,000 came in, but CAC hadn't finished counting.

All of the proceeds will directly benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center.

“Just yesterday we had six more child abuse cases come into our center in need of help," LaPorta said.

You too can be on the “team." For more information or to make a donation, call 570-969-7313 or visit cac/nepa.com where you can learn more about the organization.

If you suspect that a child is being abused, call Childline at 1-800-932-0313.

Please see related story, "A haven for children who live in houses of pain," at http://bit.ly/1gcA2hI.

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