The 19th Annual "Gala Pittsburgh Sports Night" was held at Heinz Field on Wednesday 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 Chairman Dan Rooney, former Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy and Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik chaired the event. In addition, Steelers Anthony Chickillo, Stephon Tuitt, B.J. Finney, and Steven Johnson were on hand signing autographs, along with Steelers and Pirates alumni, and athletes and representatives from Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh and Saint Vincent College.
The highlight of the night is honoring individuals with induction into the North Side Hall of Fame, and this year that included Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Retired, the former Chief of Naval Operations, and Daniel Styche, Commissioner of Allegheny County Human Relations Commission and a Pennsylvania State Constable.
Admiral Greenert, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1975, hails from Butler, Pa. and is a lifelong Steelers fan. He was honored for his commitment to our country and to his Catholic faith.
"Everything I really needed to know to be an ethical person and good man, I learned at St. Paul's School," said Admiral Greenert. "There is a lot to be said for that.
"What is so special about this is I can come back home. This is the area I am from. Any time you can come back to where you are from and get an award like this, it's special. The previous recipients, these are icons, my role models. Now to be considered in those names is amazing to me.
"All of us, the minute we are born in Western Pennsylvania, we bleed black and gold. As I traveled around in my career in the Navy, they talk about sports and always go back to a few organizations, and the Steelers are one of them. They believe in ethics and principles. To be associated with that is unbelievable."
Among those who have been honored in the past are Steelers' Chairman Dan Rooney, former Coach Chuck Noll, and Hall of Famer Franco Harris. All of them shared a passion for the Pittsburgh community. There are other greats who have also been honored, and a lot of that is thanks to the hard work of Styche, someone who helped develop the Gala Pittsburgh Sports Night into what it is today.
Styche, who served in the U.S. Navy and Pennsylvania Air National Guard, was humbled by the honor.
"I was a little bit nervous about this," said Styche. "I like to be behind the scenes. You don't do this to be honored. It's great they honored me and I am humbled by it.
"This is for the kids on the North Side. Some of them are low to moderate income. The money we raise helps offset the tuition cost, giving the opportunity to more students to have a Catholic education."