When Charlie Batch was looking for a way to raise funds for his Best of the Batch Foundation, he wanted to do something different, something fun, and something that would keep people coming back year after year because they enjoyed it.
He found the perfect solution.
Batch hosted his 11th Annual In the Pocket event to benefit the foundation, an evening filled with competitive games and just some serious fun, with some Steelers players on hand to add to the excitement.
"Because it's near the end of the year we realize people are evented out," said Batch. "We try to make it fun, a relaxed atmosphere. When you put them in that setting, you see the competitive nature come out of everybody, it doesn't matter who it is. That's what makes it fun."
In the Pocket helps to fund the programs the Best of the Batch Foundation runs, serving over 3,800 kids in the Steel Valley area and seven counties each year. Proceeds from the event have helped build the foundation's computer lab, including the addition of the cyber hub which houses all of the computer equipment used for the tutoring program and expanding their alternative education program. The foundation also has a scholarship program, a back pack giveaway, holiday gift giveaways, and athletic programs.
Over 20 current and former Steelers players turned out to help Batch in his efforts, and it was a night filled with fun, games, and a great way to help young people.
"This is our only fundraiser," said Batch. "Everything we do, depends on this. It funds our reading, computer literacy programs, all of our programs. We put so much into it. To have the support from players, the Steelers organization and the attendees, it's really important to us.
"I think that comes down to a lot of people believing in our vision, mission and what we are trying to accomplish. I think when people realize how many people we impact a year, they are kind of caught off guard. They don't realize we are this big. People are like wow, we had no idea. It allows us an opportunity to show people what we are doing, the vision, the growth and what we are looking to do in the future."