While the month of October is winding down, the Steelers commitment to breast cancer awareness month was still in high gear on Monday night at Bid for Hope.
Tight end Heath Miller hosted the annual event that benefited Glimmer of Hope, a foundation committed to raising funds for breast cancer research and finding a cure.
Heath Miller and other players show their support for Glimmer of Hope and finding a cure for breast cancer.
"It's amazing when you hear how many people know someone who has been affected by breast cancer," said Miller. "The percentage that each person will know somebody that is affected by this disease is alarmingly high. Whatever we can do to help with the research, help work towards a cure and help as many people as we can is important."
Miller and many of his Steelers teammates spent the evening signing autographs for those in attendance, bringing smiles, but more importantly awareness to the cause.
"The more people are aware of the disease and females are more in tune to their bodies, they are able to catch it before it becomes as serious," said Miller. "If we can help in that manner and with research and learn more about the disease and work towards a cure, we are happy to be involved.
"Any way I can help out or we can help as a team, we are all for it. Our job is easy. We just show up and smile. The people behind the scenes do the hard work. They are out trying to raise money on a daily basis to make sure the money goes to something beneficial. They are the ones who deserve a lot of the credit for this."
This is the 13th year for Bid for Hope, an event that has raised more than $1.6 million, with much of that benefitting the organizations under-40 breast cancer study and the integrated oncology realm, which treats mind, body and soul.
"The fact that Heath and Katie stepped to the plate truthfully kept it moving and probably accelerated it even more to what it is today," said Diana Napper, the founder of Glimmer of Hope. "Heath is a humble player. He embraced this the same way, in a humble fashion. Him being a part of it, us being able to use his name, people love Heath. He is so humble, so kind to people. He is a great player on the field and a quiet regular guy off the field."
Miller and defensive end Brett Keisel and his wife Sarah received the annual Bid for Hope Award for their contributions. For the past three years Keisel presented Glimmer of Hope with a check from the sale of his pink Da Beard Gear t-shirts during October, a shirt specially designed to help the fight against breast cancer.
"It was a fun idea my business partner came up with because he knows it's an important event for me," said Keisel. "My wife, Sarah, lost someone close to her from breast cancer. It's always been important for us. It's a fun way we thought of to raise money and help out."
Guests also had the opportunity to bid on live and silent auction items, with the proceeds all aiding in future research and treatment.
"Pittsburgh is such a great city and the people are so wonderful," said Napper. "The fans love the Steelers, love the team, have such a strong commitment and they have embraced this issue like they embrace the team.
"This is a powerhouse organization with a phenomenal reputation in the community, so the Steelers allowing us to work with them it's made it successful. The players are so gracious. We are in a city that is a small town, with an organization and players that are genuine."