Starks Steelers Walter Payton Man of the Year

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Max Starks Named Steelers 2009 Walter Payton Man of the Year
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PITTSBURGH —*
Max Starks* is not only an important part of the Steelers' success on the field, but he is also a strong member of the team's involvement in the community. For his efforts, Starks has been named the Steelers 2009 Walter Payton Man of the Year. 

Starks will be one of 32 NFL teams' Man of the Year winners who qualifies for the league's national 2009 Walter Payton Man of the Year award. The award recognizes a player's off-the-field community service as well his playing excellence. The overall winner will be announced during Super Bowl XLIV Week in Miami.

Starks knows the value of education and wants to do his part to ensure that today's youth are prepared for the future with a proper education. He established the Max Starks Fund, through the Pittsburgh Foundation, to promote childhood literacy and education.

Another cause near and dear to Starks' heart is raising funds and awareness for breast cancer as his mother, Elleanor, is a 17-year breast cancer survivor. In 2009, for the third year in a row, he and his mother co-hosted Adagio Hot Pink Pittsburgh, which raises funds to provide breast and cervical cancer screening for uninsured women in Western Pennsylvania. As part of the NFL's October Breast Cancer Awareness initiative, he also participated in a healthy cooking class at Magee Women's Hospital with breast cancer patients and has visited patients going through treatment.

Starks hosts the annual Hoge/Starks/Ward golf outing to benefit the Caring Place, with teammate Hines Ward and former Steelers running back Merril Hoge. Proceeds benefit families in western Pennsylvania by raising funds to provide free grief support services for children, adolescents and their families struggling with the death of a parent, sibling or loved one.

Each year he hosts the Max Starks & the Home Team Thanksgiving Food Drive, which benefits the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. In addition to a food drive, Starks provides a turkey and all of the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner for 200 families in need.

"I think it's important to do this because the name speaks for itself – it's Thanksgiving and it is giving thanks," said Starks. "Any way we can help the less fortunate have a better holiday is the biggest thing. It's always good when you can help people in the community."

Starks has a strong appreciation for the men and women in the United States military and took part in an NFL USO Tour during the 2006 offseason, a 12-day tour of military bases in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. He visited with servicemen and women, including plenty of Steelers fans. In addition Starks has visited the VA Hospital in Pittsburgh, spending time with the veterans there. Starks also participated in Pro vs. G.I. Joe which links active duty soldiers in Iraq with their favorite athletes.

Starks never turns down an opportunity to take part in numerous team activities, including Salvation Army's Project Bundle-Up, Steelers Fright Night for the Homeless Children's Fund and Animal Friends and the team's annual fashion show.

09_starks_turkey_giveaway_home_page_114932.jpg

Max Starks Named Steelers 2009 Walter Payton Man of the Year
*
*
 *
*
PITTSBURGH —*
Max Starks* is not only an important part of the Steelers' success on the field, but he is also a strong member of the team's involvement in the community. For his efforts, Starks has been named the Steelers 2009 Walter Payton Man of the Year. 

Starks will be one of 32 NFL teams' Man of the Year winners who qualifies for the league's national 2009 Walter Payton Man of the Year award. The award recognizes a player's off-the-field community service as well his playing excellence. The overall winner will be announced during Super Bowl XLIV Week in Miami.

Starks knows the value of education and wants to do his part to ensure that today's youth are prepared for the future with a proper education. He established the Max Starks Fund, through the Pittsburgh Foundation, to promote childhood literacy and education.

Another cause near and dear to Starks' heart is raising funds and awareness for breast cancer as his mother, Elleanor, is a 17-year breast cancer survivor. In 2009, for the third year in a row, he and his mother co-hosted Adagio Hot Pink Pittsburgh, which raises funds to provide breast and cervical cancer screening for uninsured women in Western Pennsylvania. As part of the NFL's October Breast Cancer Awareness initiative, he also participated in a healthy cooking class at Magee Women's Hospital with breast cancer patients and has visited patients going through treatment.

Starks hosts the annual Hoge/Starks/Ward golf outing to benefit the Caring Place, with teammate Hines Ward and former Steelers running back Merril Hoge. Proceeds benefit families in western Pennsylvania by raising funds to provide free grief support services for children, adolescents and their families struggling with the death of a parent, sibling or loved one.

Each year he hosts the Max Starks & the Home Team Thanksgiving Food Drive, which benefits the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. In addition to a food drive, Starks provides a turkey and all of the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner for 200 families in need.

"I think it's important to do this because the name speaks for itself – it's Thanksgiving and it is giving thanks," said Starks. "Any way we can help the less fortunate have a better holiday is the biggest thing. It's always good when you can help people in the community."

Starks has a strong appreciation for the men and women in the United States military and took part in an NFL USO Tour during the 2006 offseason, a 12-day tour of military bases in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. He visited with servicemen and women, including plenty of Steelers fans. In addition Starks has visited the VA Hospital in Pittsburgh, spending time with the veterans there. Starks also participated in Pro vs. G.I. Joe which links active duty soldiers in Iraq with their favorite athletes.

Starks never turns down an opportunity to take part in numerous team activities, including Salvation Army's Project Bundle-Up, Steelers Fright Night for the Homeless Children's Fund and Animal Friends and the team's annual fashion show.

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