The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 10, 2009

‘Make the right choice,’ Bleier urges UPJ audience

JOHNSTOWN — Pittsburgh Steelers great and decorated Vietnam War veteran Rocky Bleier talked about the importance that athletics has in shaping lives and that if one doesn’t give up, any goal can be achieved.

Bleier was the keynote speaker at the premiere of the Blue and Gold Gala on Friday night at Pitt-Johns-town’s Sports Center. More than 300 people attended the event, designed to celebrate the achievements of the university’s athletic programs and to raise money for athletic scholarships.

Bleier’s motivational speech focused on not giving up and taking advantage of every opportunity.

He talked about how shortly after he was drafted by the Steelers, the Army drafted him. While serving during the Vietnam War, he was wounded. While recovering in a hospital, he was inspired by a fellow soldier who was wounded much more seriously than he, but still maintained a positive attitude.

While recovering, he asked his doctor if he would be able to play football again. The doctor told him that with the leg wounds he suffered, that was not possible.

Bleier said he was not going to give up and eventually earned a starting position in the Steelers’ backfield.

“We have two choices in life,” Bleier said. “One is to become the best we can be. The second is to be less.

“Why not make the right choice and reach our fullest potential.”

Kristen Kelly, a senior at Pitt-Johnstown and a member of the women’s soccer team, said she enjoyed Bleier’s speech.

She said it was nice to see the university start the gala to raise money for scholarships and will be supporting the event again next year.

Carmen DiLoreto of Davidsville said Bleier’s speech was inspirational.

Mike Corcetii of Murrysville and Mark Glova, both former wrestlers for Pitt-Johnstown, enjoyed Bleier’s speech.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Flower2 Flowers' color doesn't have to fade

    Those pots of bright yellow daffodils, Easter lilies and hyacinths gracing the home this weekend do not have to end up in the trash bin when the blooms start to fade.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Refinancing could lower Richland School District's debt by $2.2M

    When Richland School District borrowed funds for its high school project a decade ago, board members circled “2014” on their calendars as a likely first option to refinance the debt.

    April 20, 2014

  • Pipeline to carry shale byproducts

    An 8-inch transmission line crossing Pennsylvania, including four municipalities in Cambria County, is being repurposed to carry some of the by-products from Marcellus and Utica shale production.

    April 20, 2014

  • Judge Creany, Timothy Vets courts gain support

    Signs of success are mostly anecdotal in Pennsylvania’s special courts for veterans, but judicial officials and lawmakers are so convinced of the program, they’re lobbying to expand it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • pow21 Person of the Week: ‘I wanted to help’: Teen uses birthday to show love for children, animals

    Anastasia Machik’s love for children and animals inspired her to forgo her birthday gifts for the sake of the two.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students taking steps to call attention to child abuse

    An upcoming community walk will help raise awareness of child abuse.

    April 20, 2014

  • In brief: PennDOT reports weekly work schedule

    April 20, 2014

  • District Deaths April 21, 2014

    April 20, 2014

  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads