Celebrity appearance by NFL player Robert McClain

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County
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Hollywood, MD- This March will mark the first annual Kite Festival in St. Mary’s County. The Kite Festival was conceived by two local high school students as a way to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Samir and Saar Shah are competing in the LLS Student of the Year fundraising competition. Their goal: $200,000.

The teens’ fundraising efforts kicked off Feb. 3. It will conclude with the Fly4ACure Kite Festival at St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds.

In addition to the entertainment, music, food, and kite flying, there will be a celebrity appearance by Tampa Bay Buccaneer Robert McClain.

McClain is a local NFL star. He grew up in Lusby and is a 2006 graduate of Patuxent High School in Calvert County, where he played football for three years. The former Patuxent Panther even played in Super Bowl 50 with the Carolina Panthers. He’s now a cornerback for the Buccaneers.

Prior to McClain’s Super Bowl appearance, his former coach from Patuxent High School, Steve Crounse, spoke with about the stand-out football star. “Even as a sophomore, he was always extremely self-motivated,” Crounse stated. “Most kids dream of the NFL, but there’s probably about a two-percent chance it’ll happen. Rob emulated players he saw. I never had to get on him to work hard. He’d be out on the field by himself, he’d weight-train by himself. He was focused on his goal. Opportunities like this don’t come easy, but he had the drive and the heart.”

After graduating from Patuxent, McClain went on to play football for University of Connecticut and was picked up by the Carolina Panthers in the 2010 NFL Draft. The years that followed held several ups and downs for McClain, signing with and being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots before making it back to Carolina in December of 2015.

Before Super Bowl 50, McClain told he always remembers where he came from. “I love the game, it’s been my life since fourth grade, and I love coming back to Patuxent. I’ll sit in on classes, I work out with the team, I give them tips and hints on what they can do to improve their game. To come home and see how happy they are, the smiles on their faces--it’s awesome. I’m always ready to give my time.”

McClain has also maintained a close relationship with Crounse. “Coach texts me before my games to let me know he’s watching and he’s proud of me,” he said. “I’m always giving him a call after games or in my down time to talk. He’s supported me for my entire career.”

McClain keeps Southern Maryland close to his heart—that’s why he’ll be at the Fly4ACure Kite Festival to help the Shah cousins raise money for LLS. McClain said, “I’m thankful and blessed to have the opportunity to attend this event not only for a good cause, but to raise awareness of blood cancer/disease.  I hope that attending this event, and spreading the awareness to others, allows scientists to use the money raised to cure this cancer for good. Please attend if you are able and support a great cause. Hope to see you all there.”

The Fly4ACure Kite Festival is Saturday, March 17 starting at noon. Click here to learn more and how you can donate to LLS.

Visit Fly4ACure on Facebook.

Contact Joy Shrum at is a proud sponsor of Fly4ACure

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