Steelers honored for giving back

On the surface, the night seemed to be one about fast cars and big trucks at the Pittsburgh International Auto Show's "Dancing with the Cars" at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

But the evening had a far deeper meaning, benefitting Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Charities, which includes the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley Schools, two charities the Steelers have a long relationship with.

The Steelers were honored during the event because of that relationship, an opportunity for the charities to express their gratitude to the team and Rooney family, who was represented by Jim Rooney, son of Steelers' Chairman Dan Rooney, for what has been a special bond.

The Terrible Towel is the iconic symbol of Steelers Nation. It's seen waving at home and road games, and has been photographed all over the country and the world, as fans use it to display their Steelers' pride.

For those who are served by the Allegheny Valley School, the Terrible Towel means a whole lot more. For them, it's a symbol of hope for a brighter future. Proceeds from the sale of Terrible Towels are donated to Allegheny Valley School, a school that provides lifelong opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The idea to give the proceeds to them was a collaboration between the Steelers and legendary broadcaster Myron Cope, whose son attended the school.

The Steelers involvement with the charities goes beyond that as well. Steelers' players, coaches and the Rooney family have long been active with both charities, dating back to Art Rooney Sr. starting the relationship in the 1950s, and the organization worked with the NFL Foundation to help establish autism information and referral sections in libraries in every NFL city.

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