Two weeks ago he was batting down passes thrown by Tom Brady, tonight he was in Quaker Steak and Lube meeting fans. Wheeling native CJ Goodwin was at the local restaurant raising awareness for the PEGA Foundation.
It’s been one busy month for the Atlanta Falcons Cornerback, after playing in the Super Bow. Tonight he was at Quaker Steak and Lube at the Highlands signing autographs and talking with fans to help an organization that means a lot to him.
“It was incredible just getting to see a local athlete from the Valley, I thought, it was one of the best moments of my life,” said fan Gage Joseph.
Fans, friends and family gathered at Quaker Steak & Lube to see the Atlanta Falcons Cornerback and Wheeling Native CJ Goodwin. He was at the restaurant to raise money for PEGA; a community based mentorship program that was founded by CJ and his family to honor his father Perry Galloway Jr.
“Where ever there is a need, I think if you have the ability to fill that need, you should do that because a lot of kids don’t have that structure I had growing up,” Goodwin told 7News Reporter Nick Conigliaro. “I recognize that and I want to help as much as I can, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Quaker Steak and Lube will be giving 10% of their profits tonight to the organization, along with a local businessman matching their donation. Then, also a 50/50 raffle was held and a meat bundle from Mickalas Meat Market was auctioned off with all the proceeds going to PEGA. For CJ the generosity of the Valley means the world to him.
“I hold this more dear to my heart than playing in that super bowl and being surrounded by all the media guys,” Goodwin said. “These people know me, and these people are willing to give their money to my foundation because they want something better in their community.”
While for fans in attendance getting to meet a guy who played in the super bowl, but still wants to help his home was a phenomenal experience.
“That’s what you say a great guy, he’s very humble. He’s amazing sitting there, he’s been there for 2:30 hours taking pictures, signing autographs, smile after smile,” Marketing Manager at Quaker Steak & Lube Christine Thomas told 7News. “We’re lucky to have him from the valley.”
“I was like really nervous and all that, it was cool though…He was awesome, I liked him,” said young fan Hayden Russell.
And CJ had just one message for the young people in attendance, “Taking advantage of opportunities, going after what you want in life, don’t be afraid, take risk. Just the things that I’ve done to help me get to this spot.”
Workers at Quaker Steak & Lube tell me tonight was 200% more crowded than any other Wednesday night, and they reiterated what an amazing guy CJ is.