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“I grew up not far from Penn State and the hurt created by these shocking circumstances affected me personally,” Tennant, who earned a divinity degree from Oral Roberts University, said in a statement Friday. “I felt the need to turn my heart home and be a part of the healing process.”

Court approval is expected to take several months. The Second Mile said it would remain a legal entity even after it dissolves and continue to “cooperate fully with any investigations.”

Tennant said in an interview Friday that since Arrow is merely taking over some of the Second Mile’s programs — not merging with or acquiring the charity — his organization has been assured it will be shielded from any potential liability from civil lawsuits brought by Sandusky’s accusers.

Asked why he wanted to get involved, Tennant said he viewed it as an opportunity to repay the kindness that his Pennsylvania foster family had shown him many years ago.

“It’s about a heart decision for me. Our organization had been operating kind of quietly in Pennsylvania, but we exist in Pennsylvania solely because of the intervention that was brought to my life as a child, a victim of abuse and neglect. It was an opportunity to give back to the community that had given so much to me,” he said. “It was an opportunity to run toward the story, not away from it.”

Rubinkam reported from Allentown, Pa.