my information

--- Issued February 13, 2013

Six young residents of the Erie Housing Authority met national football heroes Wednesday, February 12, at the  49th Annual Charity Sports Banquet, held at  the Belair Clarion Hotel and Conference Center 2800 West Eighth Street.  Their attendance was sponsored by the Authority.

The event featured Pro Football Hall of Famer and Erie native Fred Biletnikoff, who encouraged the youths to be role models for their peers and signed their football cards and footballs.

The youths attending were chosen because of their own academic accomplishments and also for their their involvement in positive activities at the Housing Authority.

"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.

Horan enouuraged the youngsters to pursue their dreams and to plan their futures to make their dreams  come true.

Also featured at the event were:

  • Jack Butler, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer He finished his NFL career with 52 interceptions, Butler was a star for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Former Cleveland Browns stars Gary Collins, Ross Fichtner and Mike Pruitt.
  • Penn State standouts Blair Thomas and Kenny Jackson.
  • Ruben Brown, who played for the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers assistant coach Randy Fichtner, who is Ross Fichtner's oldest son.

Proceeds will go to the Fred Biletnikoff Foundation,  a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting youths, primarily from low- to moderate-income neighborhoods or backgrounds, who are at risk  of  drug and alcohol addiction as well as domestic and gender violence.

The foundation has focused the majority (approximately 80 percent) of resources on supporting programs targeting  teens who are low-income, at risk of homelessness, with a history of substance-abuse related problems as well as other mental health issues. 

The Foundation was established to commemorate  Fred Biletnikoff’s daughter Tracey, who was  murdered in 1999 at a very young age. Tracey, after recovering from drug and alcohol abuse through programs like those supported by the Biletnikoff Foundation, dedicated her life to helping “at risk” youth avoid or recover from similar experiences.

To donate to this worthwhile cause, click HERE.