Community Outreach Programs
9th Grade Nation
The Steelers host the 9th Grade Nation Kick-Off event each year at Heinz Field. The program included Pittsburgh Public Schools ninth grade students and symbolizes how all members of the their graduating class are beginning an exciting and important phase of life – High School. Head coach Mike Tomlin speaks to the students about the importance of working hard and succeeding in life.
Steelers' Head Coach Mike Tomlin is a member of the All-Pro Dad Team, a program of Family First. The All-Pro Dad Team is a resource for men who want to become better fathers. Team members include active NFL players, coaches and alumni who speak to fathers about positive parenting through radio and TV spots and billboards. To learn more about All-Pro Dads, visit. To learn more about All-Pro Dads, visit www.allprodad.com.
American Heart Association**[
The Steelers, the NFL and the American Heart Association (AHA) created "What Moves U?" a health and fitness program that incorporates a classroom curriculum with physical activity for middle school students. The goal of the program is to combat childhood obesity. It is part of the NFL's Play 60 initiative which encourages kids to be physically active for 60 minutes a day.
Defensive End Brett Keisel & his wife Sarah are honorary chairs of the annual Mutt Strutt to benefit Animal Friends, a local humane shelter. Kicker Jeff Reed and Long Snapper Greg Warren also host an evening at the Hundred Acres Manor Haunted House each October, from which Animal Friends is a beneficiary.
Art Rooney Scholarship Fund
The Art Rooney Scholarship Fund annually provides college scholarships for three graduating senior at the high schools located on Pittsburgh's North Side, where Art Rooney Sr. himself spent most of his life. The annual Gatorade/Steelers 5K Race, Fitness Walk and Kids' Kickoff Run is the major fundraiser for the scholarship fund. The competitive event is sanctioned by USA Track and Field with a 3.1-mile level course on the North Side highlighted by a spectacular finish on the warning track in Heinz Field.
Atlas & Athena
The Steelers reach out to area high schools to promote healthy living and reduce the use of steroids and drugs among high school athletes as a part of the NFL's Atlas & Athena School Program. Athletes from local high schools attend a seminar at Heinz Field that focuses on the importance of nutrition and exercise. The student leaders are charged with taking the message back to their peers. www.atlasathena.org
Boys & Girls Club
The Steelers annually sponsor the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania Dapper Dan Flag Football League and host the league championships at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex indoor practice facility. The team also participates in the annual Gridiron Taste and Talent fundraiser and players occasionally visit the different club sites. www.bgcwpa.org
Breast Cancer Awareness
The Steelers participate in numerous breast cancer awareness initiatives each year including Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Passionately Pink for the Cure, player hospital visits and special pink-logoed t-shirt sales. Tight End Heath Miller and his wife Katie chair the annual Bid for Hope to benefit A Glimmer of Hope Foundation. Also, members of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority distribute breast cancer information at Steelers Experience before a home game each year.
Cancer Caring Center**
A portion of the proceeds from the annual Steelers Style Fashion Show goes to the Cancer Caring Center. Ryan and Yonka Clark also take part in their annual walk. The Cancer Caring Center is dedicated to helping people diagnosed with cancer, their families and friends cope with the emotional impact of cancer. The Center is a local charity with no national office; all funds raised in Pittsburgh stay in Pittsburgh to help area residents. For more information on the walk and Center services, call the Cancer Caring Center at 412/622-1212. www.cancercaring.org
**Central Blood Bank Blood Drive
The Steelers hold an annual blood drive in the Steelers locker room at Heinz Field around the holidays as well as a Draft Day drive at Fan Blitz. The 2008 drive collected more than 800 units. Please check the website for information on the next blood drive. www.centralbloodbank.org
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Steelers players and team mascot Steely McBeam make frequent visits to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to bring a smile to kids who are battling health issues. Players participate in Fun in the Sun, the family holiday dinner and the WDVE Radiothon at the hospital. The team annually holds a collection at a home game. www.chp.edu
Defensive End Brett Keisel serves as honorary chair of the 65 Roses Sports Auction to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The foundation raises funds for research to discover a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.
Extra Mile Education Foundation
Every time the Steelers score from the Red Zone at Heinz Field, H.J. Heinz Company and Giant Eagle make a donation to the Extra Mile Education Foundation. The foundation provides support for parochial elementary schools educating children of inner-city families. Extra Mile Education Foundation subsidies make tuition in the schools affordable for disadvantaged families seeking a quality, values-based education. Coach Mike Tomlin serves as honorary chair of the annual Extra Mile golf outing. www.extramilefdn.org
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
The team holds an annual food drive at a home game to encourage fans to help those less fortunate. Offensive Tackle Max Starks hosts an annual food drive and turkey giveaway the week of Thanksgiving. Several teammates help Max distribute food to nearly 200 needy families in the Pittsburgh area. www.pittsburghfoodbank.org
Heroes at Heinz Field
The Steelers open Heinz Field for a special evening for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans. Participants, many injured in the war, try out their football skills with the help of Steelers players. Afterwards they are treated to a dinner where Steelers president Art Rooney II addresses the group to thank them for their service to ensure our continued freedom.
Highmark Caring Place
The Steelers support the Highmark Caring Place, a center for grieving children. The annual Hoge/Starks/Ward golf outing is held at Southpointe Golf Club and is chaired by Wide Receiver Hines Ward and Offensive Lineman Max Starks, along with former Steelers Running Back Merril Hoge. The players also attend a luncheon honoring students who have raised money for their peers. www.highmarkcaringplace.com
Holy Family Institute-Pittsburgh Steelers Courage House
Greta Rooney chairs the annual Courage House Awards luncheon. Each year a Steelers player is chosen as the Ed Block Courage Award winner for overcoming illness or injury. Safety Ryan Clark was presented with the 2008 award by Head Coach Mike Tomlin. www.hfi-pgh.org
Homeless Children's Education Fund
Defensive End Brett Keisel and his wife Sarah chair the annual fundraiser for the Homeless Children's Education Fund which serves as a voice for homeless children in Allegheny County to ensure they are afforded equal access to educational opportunities. Kicker Jeff Reed and Long Snapper Greg Warren also host an evening at the Hundred Acres Manor Haunted House each October, from which the Homeless Children's Education Fund is a beneficiary. www.homelessfund.org
Offensive Tackle Willie Colon is the honorary chair of the annual Lupus Loop which takes place on the north shore next to Heinz Field. Willie chose to get involved with the Lupus Foundation because his mother suffers from the disease. www.lupuspa.org
The Steelers organization works closely with The Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes. The wishes include meeting favorite players, a behind the scenes look at the Steelers practice facility and tickets to a home game. www.wishgreaterpa.org
Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania
Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pa. benefit
In 2008 the Steelers introduced a new mascot, Steely McBeam. He made more than 200 appearances in 2008 at training camp, home games, Children's Hospital and numerous charitable events.
Take a Player to School
Wide Receiver Hines Ward accompanied third-grader Drew Cambal to Stewart Elementary School in Lower Burrell for the NFL Take a Player to School program, sponsored by J.C. Penney Afterschool program. Drew was the lucky winner in the Pittsburgh market and was picked up at home by Ward in a limousine and driven to school. While at the school, Ward participated in phys. ed classes to illustrate the importance of physical activity as part of the NFL's Play 60 initiative.
Toys for Tots-Marine Corps
Steelers fans generously brighten the lives of needy children during the holidays by donating to the annual Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive.
Quarter Back Charlie Batch serves as the team's United Way spokesman and makes several appearances at corporate United Way campaigns each year. The annual Hometown Huddle is a program throughout the NFL partnering players with local United Way agencies to encourage volunteerism and giving back to the community. The Steelers annually host the United Way's campaign kickoff at halftime of a preseason game, featuring three corporate participants in a field goal competition. The winner presents the United Way with its first campaign donation of the year. www.unitedwaypittsburgh.org
Urban Impact Foundation
The Urban Impact Foundation is a faith-based, nonprofit corporation which fosters Christian community development on Pittsburgh's North Side. One of the outreaches is through athletic programs and events. Several Steelers players participate in a football clinic held by UIF on Pittsburgh's North Side each summer. www.urbanimpactpittsburgh.org
Steelers players visit the local VA Hospitals to spend time with the patients who have served our country. At several home games each year, veterans and active military personnel are honored for their service to America.