The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 3, 2009

Former Steelers star supporting Blue and Gold


JOHNSTOWN — Former Pittsburgh Steeler and national sports hero Rocky Bleier will attend a Friday fundraiser for the Pitt-Johnstown athletics department.

Bleier, 63, will address the gathering in the university’s Sport Center as part of a first-time event that will feature games, athletic exhibitions, cheerleaders, cocktails, dinner, a DJ and a silent auction of sports-related and leisure activity items.

The premiere Blue and Gold Gala marks the latest effort to acknowledge the depth of the athletics program at the largest regional Pitt campus.

Funds raised will support athletic scholarships for talented, financially qualified students.

Robert “Rocky” Bleier fought back from devastating injuries sustained in Vietnam in 1969 and beat the odds to become one of the greatest running backs in the game. Bleier retired from professional football in 1980.

University President Jem Spectar sees many advantages to recruiting student athletes in need of scholarships.

“Those qualities that are essential to becoming an accomplished athlete – discipline, commitment, fortitude – are equally valuable to academic pursuits,” Spectar said.

Tickets for the Blue and Gold Gala are available at $125 per person. Call 269-2083 by Tuesday to reserve a spot.

Cocktails will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Sport Center.

For more information or to place advance bids on silent auction items, visit the Pitt-Johnstown Web site at www.upj.pitt.edu/Gala/