A well deserved honor for the Rooneys

Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney and his wife Patricia were honored on Thursday night by the United Way of Allegheny County at their "Toasting the Titans" event.

Toasting the Titans honored Pittsburgh's philanthropic leaders who have given time, effort and financial resources to the agency that is a staple in the community.

"We are grateful for the Rooney family's involvement with United Way, which stretches back four decades," said Bob Nelkin, President and CEO of United Way of Allegheny County. "Dan and Pat's leadership has inspired compassion across our community and has helped to improve countless lives of people in need."

Corporate and humanitarian leaders were on hand to honor the Rooneys and other recipients, including Jack Barbour, the Chairman of the Board of the United Way of Allegheny Country who presented them with their honor.

"Mr. and Mrs. Rooney's commitment to the United Way is inspirational," said Barbour. "Throughout their lives they have devoted significant time and resources to the United Way and the fulfillment of its mission. They have done so for the right reasons – they truly want to help the underprivileged, the underserved, the disabled and the needy in Southwestern Pennsylvania."

Also honored were Teresa Heinz, Henry and the late Elsie Hillman and Richard and Virginia Simmons. The Rooneys were honored to be among that group that gives so much to their hometown.

"I think most people say the idea of giving back is special, and the United Way allowed me the opportunity to work with the people who are being awarded the grants and funds," said Patricia Rooney. "I always found the best part of doing volunteer work or fund raising was to be a part of the people. I think that is a wonderful trait of Pittsburgh. We are a giving city. Whether it's bake sales or food drives, or something greater, we have always been about raising money to help others. That brings the whole community together. We are both very honored to be awarded this."

Dan Rooney has served on the national board of the United Way, and his son Art Rooney II has followed in his footsteps continuing the strong bond between the Steelers and the United Way.

"The United Way is a very important entity in Pittsburgh," said Dan Rooney. "It gets better support in Pittsburgh than it does nationwide compared to cities of the same size.

"We have always tried to be a part of it. The honor is one I really appreciate. It's an honor to be associated with the people at the United Way."

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