The 20th Annual Pittsburgh Sports Night Gala was held at Heinz Field on Tuesday night, an event that benefits Northside Catholic School, providing assistance to help those unable to meet the financial requirements for a Catholic education and to aid the school's operation.
Steelers President Art Rooney II and former Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy chaired the event. In addition, current and former Steelers players, along with Pirates alumni, and athletes and representatives from Duquesne University and Saint Vincent College, were on hand signing autographs and greeting guests.
Bishop David Zubik was honored at the 20th annual Pittsburgh Sports Night Gala.
The highlight of the night is honoring individuals with induction into the North Side Hall of Fame. Among those who have been honored in the past are former Coach Chuck Noll and current Coach Mike Tomlin, Hall of Famer Franco Harris and General Manager Kevin Colbert.
This year's enshrinee is Bishop David Zubik, the bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh who has been a mainstay behind the event through the years.
Bishop Zubik's Catholic education began when he attended Saint Stanislaus Elementary School and Saint Veronica High School in Ambridge, Pa., as well as Duquesne University, where he earned his undergraduate degree. He entered Saint Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh, and later Saint Mary Seminary in Maryland. He was ordained a priest in 1975, and in 2007 he was named the 12th Bishop of Pittsburgh.
"There has been such a strong foundation of faith on the North Side," said Bishop Zubik. "While there have been a lot of demographic changes that have happened over the course of the years, I think people have been firm around the importance of Catholic Schools. I think the vision Mr. Rooney, Mr. McClatchy and Cardinal Wuerl had 20 years ago to start this dinner speaks to the respect we all have for the Church on the North Side."
This year's event also paid tribute to late Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, who was one of the founders of the event and was previously inducted into the North Side Hall of Fame. Rooney had a passion for helping those on the North Side, a place where he grew up and lived until he passed away. He also has always had a strong passion for making a Catholic education attainable for all. Through the years the event has raised more than $1.4 million in tuition assistance for students enrolled at Cardinal Wright Regional School and Northside Catholic School.
"It's very special," said Art Rooney II, who introduced the tribute to his father. "This is an event that was so important to him. He put a lot of his own time and effort to make sure it survived. It's great to be here on the 20th year of the event.
"I attended Catholic grade school. It was a great experience and had a positive impact on my whole life. To be able to help kids continue to get that kind of education is very important so I am happy we are able to do that."