By Teresa Varley
The annual Hoge Starks Ward Celebrity Golf Classic for Children to benefit the Caring Foundation was held at Southpointe Country Club.
Current Steelers Max Starks and Hines Ward serve as co-chairs along with former Steelers running back Merril Hoge.
Proceeds benefit families in western Pennsylvania by raising funds to provide free healthcare benefits for children and adults and free grief support services for children, adolescents and their families who are struggling with the death of a parent or sibling.
"It's important any time you have the opportunity to work with such a great organization as the Caring Place that does remarkable work," said Starks. "They are pioneers of what they do. It's an invaluable service not just to provide the health care, but the grief counseling for children and adults is amazing. They provide an invaluable service of helping people cope and get through this vulnerable time. It's a great organization and I am blessed to be a part of it."
Nearly 40 current Steelers players and coaches along with other Steelers alumni participated in the tournament to help the cause.
Ward, who had the chance to visit the Caring Place before the golf outing, knows how important a place it is and what it means to those who take advantage of the services offered.
"Going there and seeing it up close and personal, sitting down with the kids that go there and getting their feedback on what the Caring Place means to them, gives me more of a sense of acknowledgement for doing this," said Ward. "By being there it's very touching. Hearing the stories of why they like the Caring Place and why they are there is special."