Steeler Charlie Batch Wins 2013 Byron "Whizzer" White Award for Community Service

Best of the Batch Foundation to Receive $100,000 Donation from NFLPA

January 31, 2013 (New Orleans, LA)—Today, Charlie Batch became the fourth Pittsburgh Steeler to receive the coveted Byron “Whizzer” White Award since its inception in 1966; he joins Andy Russell (1972), Rocky Bleier (1974), and Franco Harris (1981). The award is named for Supreme Court Justice Byron White, a Colorado native whose professional football career started with the Pittsburgh Steelers (then the Pittsburgh Pirates) in 1938. Steelers founding owner Art Rooney said of White, “Of all the athletes I have known in my lifetime, I’d have to say Whizzer White came as close to anyone to giving 100 per cent of himself in competition.” Byron “Whizzer” White also played for the Detroit Lions, where this year’s awardee, quarterback Charlie Batch, spent the first four seasons of his professional career.

Charlie Batch’s commitment to the Greater Pittsburgh community is evident through the many good works he initiates and supports, including:

  • D&R Sportsmanship Program – started in 2012 in conjunction with the WPIAL and Dignity & Respect Campaign, throughout the nine-week high school football season, a member of each “Game of the Week” team was selected by his teammates to receive the D&R Sportsmanship Award in recognition of treating others with dignity and respect.
  • Project C.H.U.C.K. – a seven-week summer basketball camp for girls and boys, ages 7 through 18 that incorporates a daily study hall where participants read and discuss assigned books. This program started in 2001 and has served 3,085 youth.
  • Batch Packs – a back-to-school initiative to provide students with basic supplies they’ll need for the upcoming school year. More than 5,000 “Batch Packs” have been distributed since the program’s inception.
  • Best of the Batch Club – students who demonstrate excellence in school work, attendance, behavior, and extra-curricular activities are rewarded with a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame with Charlie Batch.
  • Batch-A Toys – an annual holiday toy drive, with Charlie and his teammates signing autographs for fans in exchange for new, unwrapped toys. More than 25,000 toys were distributed during the program’s first four years, with a goal of 10,000 toys during the 2012 holiday season.
  • Read Across America – Charlie visits five schools on March 2nd, Dr. Seuss Day, to share his favorite author with students.

The Byron “Whizzer” White Award is accompanied by a monetary contribution to the foundation or charity of the winner’s choice. This year, a $100,000 donation will be made to Best of the Batch Foundation, an organization established in 1999 by Charlie in memory of his sister (Danyl) who was murdered, an innocent victim of gunfire between rival gangs. The mission of Best of the Batch is to provide financially challenged youth and their families with the purpose, desire, and resources to give their best efforts in all they do throughout their lives. Sources of revenue for this nonprofit organization include the annual “In the Pocket” fundraiser, corporate sponsorships, individual and United Way donations. For more information on Best of the Batch Foundation, visit batchfoundation.org.

The Byron “Whizzer” White Award is the highest honor the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) can bestow upon a player, and is presented to the player who is just as dedicated off the field as he is on the field. The 2013 Byron “Whizzer” White Award judging panel included Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk), Kathleen Sebelius (U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Service) Jim Trotter (Sports Illustrated), Richard Trumka (President, AFL-CIO), Brian Water (NFLPA Executive Committee).

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