Having fun for a good cause

There is no doubt the Steelers are a competitive bunch, something that can be seen on the football field every week.

That competitive side came out off the field when they attended the 5th annual In the Pocket with Charlie Batch to benefit the Best of the Batch Foundation.

Players took part in different games, including pool and ping pong, challenging guests and giving it their all as bragging rights were definitely on the line.

"I wanted an event where the fans can come out and compete against us in a relaxed atmosphere," said Batch. "People see the players get so competitive. They take their pride into it. If you lose to a fan, you get upset. You get some good players who come through and talk smack. The guys have been practicing over the last month.

"If one of the guys lose you definitely give them a hard time, but it's all in fun because we are raising money for a good cause. The players believe in what I am doing, the fans believe in what I am doing. Without the help of them I wouldn't be able to do it."

The event definitely highlights the fun side of the players, but it has a much bigger purpose and that is to raise money for the Best of the Batch Foundation's Reading and Computer Literacy Program.

"This is our only annual fundraiser we have for our reading computer literacy program which helps our computer lab and our programs we do for the kids pertaining to education," said Latasha Wilson-Batch, the foundation's executive director. "It's overwhelming the support we get from the Steelers, the city and the fans. It's exciting.

"We have grown in numbers. This summer we had over 600 kids come through the computer lab and work with our programs. It's a tremendous increase. They don't come in just to play on the computer. We have educational programs we are able to put on there to help them better themselves with math and science programs. We are still working with CMU to create additional programs and trying to become an SAT site location so we can offer the SAT for kids who can't otherwise afford it."

Batch, who was highly competitive during the event, knows the overall winners from the event are those who use the computer lab.

"It's hard because there are a lot of people that don't have the Internet access others have on a regular basis," said Batch. "For them to be able to come in, hone their computer skills and grow in that aspect is special. It's things like that we take for granted."

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