Joe Paterno

Cards piling up for Paterno’s 85th birthday

Joe Paterno’s 85th birthday is today and well-wishers have been flooding the former Penn State football coach with cards.

The president of the Baltimore Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association started a birthday card project, urging alumni to send 109,000 cards to Paterno — equal to the seating capacity at Beaver Stadium.

Scott Fata said the effort started about three weeks ago after a friend floated the idea to him in an email. He decided to make an organized effort, although he added he isn’t speaking on behalf of the alumni association.

“I think his record stands for itself,” Fata said. “This is a man that has a legacy.”

Fata said the effort ended up being a combination birthday and get-well campaign. Along with recovering from a fall, Paterno is being treated for cancer.

“This is someone that’s very dear to a lot of the alumni,” Fata said.

The efforts are apparently working.

Jay Paterno tweeted Tuesday that he “saw boatloads of birthday cards for Joe at the house & realized that I’d better get him one before tomorrow.”

The university board of trustees fired Paterno on Nov. 9 as the Jerry Sandusky scandal unfolded.

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