New York Giants’ linebackers attend charity event

Photo courtesy of James Scalia

New York Giants linebackers J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas were present at a charity event hosted by Thomas and Intensive Therapeutics, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides therapy to children with autism, hemiplegia, brain injuries and other physical ailments. The event took place on Monday, Nov. 6 at AMF Wallington Lanes in Wallington, New Jersey.

Scott Matthews, the executive director of Intensive Therapeutics, helped put together his eighth annual event with the help of the Giants and a few of their players.

“The New York Giants have been sponsors for this event all eight years; a New York Giants player [J.T. Thomas] has hosted the event every single year and he has also brought his New York Giants friends,” said Mathews.

Since being established in 2005, the organization has preached its community and family roots as the reason for its existence. Now thanks to the football club and a few of their players, Intensive Therapeutics has been aided with sponsorship and support.

Matthews said, “We have a tagline for the event, ‘Athletes get better with practice, kids with special needs get better with practice.’ We’re trying to provide more therapy in short periods of time so kids can get better.”

The event featured a buffet of food, a silent auction and bowling for everyone to enjoy. Thomas brought his family and bowled a couple rounds while hosting the event.

“I’m just blessed with the opportunity to be able to come and support the event on behalf of the Giants,” said Thomas, whose younger brother has autism. This propelled him to get involved and give back to the community for a cause he was passionate about. Unfortunately for Thomas, he was unable to attend last year’s event because of a surgery required to repair his torn ACL, which he injured in the Giants’ 2016 regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

“It’s an honor for me to be here tonight, as last year I was getting surgery on the same weekend, so it’s really cool to be here,” said Thomas.

Thomas’ teammate Jonathan Casillas also stopped by with his family and even signed memorabilia for Giants fans. Casillas was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and played high school football in New Brunswick. After winning the Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2009 and with the New England Patriots in 2014, Casillas was excited to come home when he signed with the Giants in 2015. He is also very active in various communities throughout New Jersey and was happy to come to Thomas’ event.

“Well, J.T. is a brother of mine, I’ve known him for a few years now. I’ve been every year that he’s participated and held this event, and it’s such a great event since Intensive Therapeutics does so much for the kids,” said Casillas. “As you see now, it’s such a great environment, it’s such a great feel and everyone’s having a great night.”

Intensive Therapeutics will also be sponsored by the NFL’s McCourty twins, Devin and Jason, as they host “McCourty Twins Tackle Sickle Cell Comedy Night” on Monday, Nov. 13.