In 1994, Youth Pastor John Cavallaro became an assistant coach for J.V. football at Broadneck High School. This connection with the players gave John a vision to provide safety and fun for students after home football games. In 1997, no 5th Quarters were held. John stopped by the local McDonald’s after a home game and was shocked to see hundreds of students drinking and doing drugs in the parking lot.
A renewed passion for providing a positive alternative led to a new 5th Quarter gathering of 100 students the following year. Anne Arundel County, recognizing the positive impact of the program, began awarding 5th Quarter an annual grant. 5th Quarter moved to Broadneck Park, directly across the street from the High School, dramatically increasing attendance. An off-duty county police officer, providing extra security, commented that the Broadneck High School District was the only district in the county with no fights reported after their home football games.
5th Quarter has hosted many speakers, each sharing a message of purpose and hope; including, former NFL football player, Ray Sydnor, an inspirational skateboard team, and formerly drug-addicted gang members. The diverse speakers attracted new groups of students. New carnival type amusements, Rock Wall, Laser Tag, and more food, drove the average attendance at 5th Quarter to over 500 students. Increased community support brings over 80 adults to chaperone each event. The Christian Motorcyclists Association has partnered with 5th Quarter and brings a whole new perspective to insuring safety.
This past year, over 400 pizzas, 1000 hotdogs, 2000 cans of soda, mountains of cookies, and hundreds of cotton candy sticks were consumed. With your support, 5th Quarter looks forward to another winning season of free food and entertainment to keep out kids away from the damaging influence of drugs and alcohol. Broadneck EP Church maintains all of the equipment and provides the bulk of the manpower to run each event. 5th Quarter relies on sponsorship and fundraisers to keep theses events free for students. You can support 5th Quarter financially by using this link. http://clo.do/rzwu/
Other local high schools have seen the need to support students who want a better choice and several 5th Quarters have been held in the county and beyond. Kent Island High School is supported by Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church, Southern High School is supported by Grace EP Church in Harwood, Northeast High and North County High have also held 5th Quarter events with the help of local churches.