The 12th annual ReMax Results Realty Group Bowl-a-thon was held Sunday afternoon at the Pleasant Valley Recreation Center, and a very special guest was there.
Former Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Juqua Parker was in attendance.
"About two years ago, I signed a ball for this foundation," Parker, a native of Houston, said. "I retired last year and moved down here. My wife's from the area. I got the invitation to this, and I was excited to come. I'm just happy to come out and support the Children's Miracle Network. It's a very exciting thing to do for kids who need help."
Mike McMullen, the corporate communication representative of the Children's Miracle Network, was glad to have the former NFL player help raise funds.
"Juqua is the friend of a distant relative of someone at ReMax," McMullen said. "In the past he has signed posters and balls for the basket raffle, but this year, he decided to bowl. We're excited to have the opportunity to have a former NFL player."
After raising $8,000 a year ago, McMullen said $12,065 was raised this year, with the bowl-a-thon, the basket raffle and two live bands -Shallow Nine and The Ground Crew. The Ground Crew played upstairs in the Schnappps Shop, while Shallow Nine played downstairs at the 4D's Lounge.
"ReMax puts together a great event," McMullen said. "They raise an amazing amount of money each year. And it all benefits the Children's Miracle Network at Geisinger."
Parker played for the Titans from 2001-2004 and played for the Eagles from 2005-2011. He played just one season for the Browns. While in Philadelphia, he played with players like quarterback Donovan McNabb, running back Brian Westbrook and free safety Brian Dawkins. He also played for coach Andy Reid.
"Playing with Donovan and for Andy Reid was an awesome deal," Parker said. "He is an awesome coach."
Parker finished his career with 255 tackles and 42.5 sacks in his 12-year career.
"I played in the NFL for 12 years," Parker said. "I loved playing football. It's been a wonderful thing for me."
Now in retirement, Parker enjoys being a fulltime husband and father.
"I'm retired now and enjoying my time with my wife and kids," Parker said. "I'm really enjoying family time."