Former Penn State quarterback and national champion Todd Blackledge will give a speech at the annual Young Life fundraising banquet on Monday evening.
The banquet serves as an opportunity to share the experiences of children involved in Young Life, while improving the group’s Centre County chapter through charitable donations, according to Young Life Area Director, Brad Schmitt.
“[The goal is] ultimately to raise the funds to make [Young Life] profitable and continue to grow,” Schmitt said.
Founded in Texas in 1941, Young Life is a Christian youth organization whose aim is enlightening young adults.
According to Young Life Centre County’s website, the program relies on “adults concerned enough about kids to go to them, on their turf,” which is exactly what Blackledge will be doing Monday at Beaver Stadium.
The decision to reach out to Blackledge, who now works as an ESPN college football analyst, was an easy one, Schmitt said. Blackledge couldn’t be reached for comment by press time Sunday.
While Blackledge has a resumé stockpiled with athletic achievements, including the Penn State record for most passing touchdowns in a single season and a career, his influence on past, present, and future Penn Staters also factors in to his selection for the banquet.
The Canton, Ohio native was the recipient of the Eric Walker award in 1983, honoring the Penn State senior who “enhanced the esteem and recognition of the University.” And, in 2009, he received the university’s highest individual honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award.
“He’s a strong Christian. He has a heart for the community and I couldn’t think of anyone better to speak at our banquet,” Schmitt said.
Blackledge’s appearance carries extra significance considering “everything that’s gone on in the past year at Penn State,” Schmitt added.