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--- Issued March 2, 2012

The Erie Housing Authority sponsored the attendance of eight youths at the 48th Annual Charity Sports Banquet on Wednesday, February 15th.

The keynote speaker was former Notre Dame football player, Johnny Latner, above,winner of the 1953 Heisman Trophy. Also in attendance were several former athletes including NFL Hall of Fame member Joe Delamielleure along with Greg Pruitt, Mike Wagner, Hanford Dixon, and former Philadelphia Eagle wide receiver Mike Quick. Quick is shown in the photo below.

The youths attending were chosen because of their own academic accomplishments and also for their their involvement in positive activities at the Housing Authority, including the Housing Authority Theatre Program, Youth Choir and EarthAction.

"The Annual Charity Sports Banquet is an opportunity to expose our young public housing residents to role models who hopefully, will inspire them for the rest of their lives," said John E. Horan, executive director of the Erie Housing Authority.

Chaperones included Housing Authority Executive Director John Horan, and Patrice Johnson, a past Housing Authority summer intern from Slippery Rock University who is doing her Senior Internship with the YMCA Kids Club.

Patrice is on the cover of the Authority's 2012 Annual Calendar.

The Banquet was held at the Belair Clarion Banquet Center.

QUICK STATS on the football greats in attendance:

John Joseph "Johnny" Lattner, above, is a former American football player in the United States. He was a halfback for the University of Notre Dame where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1953, and won the Maxwell Award twice, in 1952 and 1953. In 1954, Lattner and was drafted in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but played with them for only one season before entering the United States Air Force. There, during a football game, he suffered a severe knee injury that prevented him from ever playing professional football again.

Joe Delamielleure
was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft. He won All-Rookie Honors. In 1973 the Buffalo Bills rushing offense led the NFL in yards, yards per carry, as well as rushing touchdowns. DeLamielleure was perhaps the central figure in the "Electric Company," the Bills' offensive line that paved the way for O.J. Simpson to rush for 2,003 yards in 1973, the first player ever to break that barrier, and the only player ever to do so in a 14-game schedule.

Gregory Donald Pruitt
is a former American football running back in the NFL from 1973 through 1984. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, four as a member of the Cleveland Browns and one as a member of the Los Angeles Raiders, the last one as a kick returner. He was also part of the Raiders' Super Bowl XVIII winning team.

Michael Robert Wagne
r is a former American football player with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He won four Super Bowls as a safety on the famed Steel Curtain defense.

Hanford Dixon
is a former professional American football cornerback who played his entire career (1981–1989) for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. Dixon made the Pro Bowl three times, in 1986, 1987 and 1988. (In professional American football, the Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League (NFL).

Mike Quick was a surprise 1st round pick by the Eagles in the 1982 NFL Draft. He developed into a five-time Pro Bowler, having been selected consecutively from 1983 to 1987. He led the NFL in receiving yards in 1983 with 1,409 and finished second in 1985 with a total of 1,247. On November 10, 1985, Quick caught a 99-yard touchdown pass from Ron Jaworski in overtime (an Eagles team record, and tied with eleven other QB-WR combos as an NFL record), as the Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons in the game.