By Teresa Varley
Steelers president Art Rooney, II and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger were on hand at the Ronald McDonald House of Pittsburgh on Tuesday to cut the ribbon for the new facility that now adjoins Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
The Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for parents whose children are patients at Children's Hospital and other area hospitals. The home was originally introduced in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh and has grown from a 10 room house to a facility that now features 60 family apartments and common areas.
"I got to come here a couple of months ago to see a work in progress," said Roethlisberger. "I am excited to see the finished product. I know the families and the children I have gotten to meet so far will really enjoy this facility. It comes from the heart. It's a place for them to stay when they are going through a tough time."
The Steelers have a long tradition of involvement with the Ronald McDonald House, dating back to Steelers founder Art Rooney, Sr. Roethlisberger got involved over the last few years and spent time there visiting families, has made monetary donations through his foundation and has provided holiday meals for those staying there.
"This facility here is great because it's a place for the families to come to live to be as close to home as possible," said Roethlisberger. "Not just put them in a hotel room, but to put them in a place they can actually call home while they are going through a tough time."
Roethlisberger and Heinz CEO Bill Johnson will head the capital campaign to raise funds to help cover the expenses of building the new home and to assist with operational costs.
"We have a long way to go," said Roethlisberger. "By no means is this thing done. We need everyone's help out there. If people would just come and see the story from the families we saw today, that's one of many. There is a lot of work to be done and we have our work cut out for us."
If you would like to help support the efforts of the Ronald McDonald House, please visit them at http://www.rmhcpgh.org.
To view the full photo gallery by Mike Fabus, click on Ronald McDonald Ribbon Cutting Photos and go to Off The Field.