UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State freshman Kyle Sheely pinned a blue ribbon to his official 2012 Blue Out shirt because he said he wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself.
The Blue Out, held to raise awareness of child sex abuse and donate funds to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, provided the backdrop for Saturdays Penn State football game against visiting Temple.
The Nittany Lions won 24-13 in the second Blue Out game since child abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky surfaced last November. Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 counts.
Sheely said the Blue Out event brings the Penn State community together to rally around a worthwhile cause.
I know being a part of something that is bigger than you is a big deal, he said.
Almost 94,000 people attended Saturdays game, many wearing blue to support the cause.
Co-founders Laura March and Stuart Shapiro said they saw more participation in this years Blue Out, handing out thousands of blue ribbons and literature about preventing child sex abuse. They also had canners set up at each entrance with all proceeds benefiting PCAR.
Its nice that everyone is here to help out in any way they can, Shapiro said.
The two graduate students went onto the field during a third-quarter break to be recognized for their efforts.
They will continue to sell T-shirts for the remainder of the football season, so final fundraising numbers are not available. But Shapiro said he heard they had sold about 4,500 shirts as of Friday.
He added that his experience at the stadium Saturday showed him the passion of Penn Staters and gave him hope that the event can continue to be successful.
March said the plan is to continue to have annual Blue Outs, passing the torch to the student group One Heart when they graduate in May.
And if the new tradition continues, Sheely will be in the stands next season with the 2013 version of the shirt.
Without a doubt Id support it, he said.
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan