It was an event that started as a 50th birthday party for Steelers Hall of Famer Mel Blount, a chance to gather with former teammates, while at the same time do something meaningful.
Now, 16 years later, the Mel Blount Youth Home All-Star Celebrity Roast is going stronger than ever, still serving as a reunion for teammates, but growing into so much more.
On Friday night former Steelers' tight end Randy Grossman will be honored and roasted at the dinner, with Hall of Famer John Stallworth as the master of ceremonies, and he is looking forward spending time with friends and the stories that will be shared.
"I think all of them will take significant license and not let the truth get in the way of a good story," joked Grossman of what he expects from his former teammates during the roast. "I am anxious to see what they come up with.
"It's a special event from a reunion type of standpoint because so many come back for it. There are a lot of events during the year, but this is the spring kickoff where we are seeing guys you haven't seen all winter. It's special because so many people come back for it, some I only see once a year that come back just for this event."
Grossman definitely expects Stallworth to have some good stories since the two came to the Steelers together as members of the Class of 1974, Stallworth a fourth-round draft pick while Grossman was a rookie free agent.
"We were rookies together in 1974 and have been through a lot of the same experiences together," said Grossman. "That first year was the first Super Bowl championship year. I am sure he will share some stories from it, if not he will make them up."
The event benefits the Mel Blount Youth Home in Claysville, Pa., run by Blount and his wife TiAnda.
"This is a huge part of our budget," said Blount. "We need these funds to continue to provide services for the kids we work with and take care of the responsibilities of running the program. We are in it every day and my name is on the door, so we want to make sure we provide the best we can."
About The Mel Blount Youth Home of PennsylvaniaIt is a multi-service treatment program for young males who are victims of child abuse and neglect. The Mel Blount Youth Home is situated on 300 acres of land located in Washington County. The Youth Home is surrounded by beautiful woods and fields, an outdoor equestrian center, walking trails, basketball court and fishing ponds. Our inter-disciplinary treatment program takes full advantage of community based agencies that provide children with an array of opportunities to experience success. Individual therapeutic techniques are used with the pre-adolescent such as play therapy activities, music therapy, reality therapy and anger management. All regular and special needs residents attend one of the McGuffey School District's elementary, middle or high schools, unless specified by their Individual Education Plan (IEP).