Former Oakmont High standout Cady immersed in charity endeavors
It has been 34 years since N.W. “Skip” Cady walked into what is now the Clarion Hotel.
The only time the former Oakmont High School star athlete was at the New Kensington hotel was in the spring of 1970 to accept his WKPA Football Player of the Year award.
Three decades later, Cady will have come full circle when he returns to the Clarion to be inducted into the Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
“As an 18-year-old kid, I sat there that evening and listened to Dave Ricketts (and) Bob Prince,” said Cady, 71, who lives in Las Vegas. “There was a young quarterback who had just signed his first professional contract: Terry Bradshaw.
“Now, to be up on that stage being inducted into the hall of fame, I'm extremely honored.”
A center and nose guard, Cady was all-everything at Oakmont. In 1968-69, he was all-WPIAL in both offense and defense. He was an all-state pick in 1969.
After a highly decorated high school career, Cady received a scholarship to Clarion University.
It's not his sports past that Cady is most proud of, though.
“Charity work came into my life years ago,” he said. “I think it's because of my background. I was a poor kid, but I was a lucky kid. I found myself in a position to be able to give back.”
Cady has been vice president of Consolidated Resorts/Somerpoints Resorts for more than two decades. In that time, he has spearheaded dozens of charities.
His latest charity venture has him teaming with Susan Spencer, whose family used to own the Philadelphia Eagles. A Level Playing Field helps poor high school athletes in Las Vegas cover the exorbitant costs of playing sports.
Cady said sometimes the best thing to do for a child is one of the simpler things.
“I'm a firm believer to take kids to ballgames,” he said. “I don't have kids of my own, but I've taken hundreds of children to games. It made an impact on my life.
“You'd be surprised how many kids remember that.”
It's not all charity and business for Cady. He's also been able to mix sports in, too.
Cady was on the now-defunct Hula Bowl's Executive Committee and is the founder and presenter of the High School Coach of the Year Award.
Cady said he hasn't forgotten his roots. He keeps in touch with his high school football coach, longtime Oakmont, Riverview and Springdale coach Chuck Wagner.
“(The) most influential person in my life is Chuck Wagner,” he said. “ I was raised in an orphanage in Mars. Coach Wagner was like a father to me.
“A lot of the foundation that was laid upon myself and my teammates was so valuable in life. The foundation that we took, the sportsmanship, the attitude, the discipline. A lot of that carryover. (Without Wagner) I wouldn't have been as successful or as fortunate as I've been.”
Cady said the best part of the award will be getting to acknowledge the place Wagner, other coaches, teammates and friends have had on his life.
“Just to be able to say ‘thank you' to a lot of people,” he said.
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.