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2017-07-05 / Shorts

State of Hope

Pro linebacker Nate Stupar Bringing Hope to Kids Who Need It
Robyn Passante

Photo by Annemarie MountzPhoto by Annemarie MountzState High and Penn State alum Nate Stupar has moved a lot these last several years as a linebacker in the NFL. While he currently lives in New Orleans and plays for the Saints, he and his wife, Marisa, still consider State College home — and that’s where he wants to make a difference.

“The NFL’s given me so much, it was just the right time to give back,” says Stupar of the local nonprofit State of Hope Foundation the couple launched last year. It aims to give underprivileged kids the kinds of positive experiences they might not easily come by.

“We’ve always been passionate about helping kids,” Stupar says of he and his wife, who worked as a case manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters after she graduated from Penn State. “That just drove my passion even more, seeing what they were doing.”  

Stupar was a senior linebacker during the 2011 season when former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on sexual abuse charges and head coach Joe Paterno was fired. One of the worst parts of the tragedy was the irreversible damage to Sandusky’s former charity, The Second Mile, which had been helping underprivileged kids in the area for more than 30 years.

“It was devastating what happened,” Stupar says. “[The Second Mile’s demise] wasn’t a main purpose of why we started [State of Hope]. But we’re blessed to be able to start this foundation to help those kids who’ve been kind of put in the backseat.”

The foundation’s first event was a football training camp held in June with several former Penn State football players (many of them having turned pro), all coming back to help coach.

To get the fundraising ball rolling, the foundation will hold a Celebrity Golf Tournament at Mountain View Country Club on July 8. The Stupars have partnered with Centre County Youth Service Bureau, Penns Valley Youth Center, Park Forest Day Nursery School and the local YMCAs and will use the golf tournament proceeds to benefit those organizations while they brainstorm ideas for unique programs State of Hope will one day offer the community directly.

In the meantime, there are spots available for foursomes, singles, and sponsors at the tournament, which promises good food, beer, a silent auction, camaraderie and a good cause.

“It’s a beautiful course and it’s going to be an amazing day.”

Visit stateofhopefoundation.org for more info.

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