Sunday, July 5, 2015

That "T-Shirt Guy" is still at It

$80,000 equals a lot of sales.

That "T-Shirt Guy" is still at It


And now, a happy update from Matt McIntyre, whom readers might remember from a column I wrote about him last February.

Matt's a Northeast Philly resident who works full-time at the Kimmel Center as a stage carpenter and part-time as an un-paid fund-raiser for the families of fallen Philadelphia police officers.

Known as "That T-Shirt Fund-Raiser Guy," Matt's title isn't one he ever planned for or wanted. But what began as a simple effort, back in 2006, to sell T-shirts as a fund-raiser for the family of slain cop Gary Skerski morphed into a bigger operation, as the city proceeded to bury another six officers killed in the line of duty.

When I wrote about Matt, he had raised $54,000 selling T-shirts. He's sold a lot more since then.

Here's the note he dropped me this week:

Ronnie, I was going through my memorial shirt records, and I just wanted to give you an update of where we are in terms of selling shirts for the families of fallen officers as well as the FOP Survivors Fund. 
At the point when you had written the article about the memorial shirts, we had given over $54,000 thousand dollars to the families of our fallen officers. But since that time, we have given approximately $14,000 to Kimmy Pawlowski [wife of slain officer John Pawlowski] and an additional $10,000  to the FOP Survivors Fund. We have also donated over $3,000 worth of memorial shirts to various fundraisers which support the FOP Survivors Fund, and we are still selling shirts which honor "All 7 Officers". 
   To date, the total is approximately $81,000 raised to support the families of these fallen officers and the FOP Survivors Fund. I can't help but think that in large part, it is due to the article you had written, and I just wanted to thank you for all that you do on a daily basis.

To Matt: Thanks, but you're the one who's done the heavy lifting on this effort, bless your gigantic heart.

To everyone else: To inquire about ordering a shirt, contact Matt directly at

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About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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