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Steelers, Passion play against Mt. Pleasant teams

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Passion converged upon the gymnasium at the Mt. Pleasant Area High School on Thursday entertaining the crowds that numbered almost 600.

The event was sponsored by the Mt. Pleasant Area Junior Football League. This was the second year for the fundraiser.

"It's a great fundraiser," said Ed Farzati, who recommended the event to MPAJFL President Rick Albright. "We did it here before for swimming and the band, and it's always a good way to raise money."

Last year, the event raised enough funds to help pay for new equipment and to offset operating expenses for the league, which includes 250 youngsters every fall.

"I thought that this sounded like a good fundraiser, and I'm glad that we are doing it again," Albright said. "We were worrying about ticket sales because of the snow, but they picked up."

Last year, the Steelers played against coaches from the league and several faculty members from the school.

This year, the Steelers faced the boys varsity basketball team while the Pittsburgh Passion played the girls basketball team.

"We really enjoy these," said Sue Hoffer of Kecksburg. "We come every year, and we go to the other schools in the area that do this. The kids love to see the Steelers up close like this."

This year, it was decided to let the students play against the professionals to give them a unique experience.

"It's their time," Albright said. "We wanted to give them the opportunity to play against those guys. We thought that it would be a golden opportunity for them and something that they would always remember."

The evening also featured several raffles and a 50/50 drawing.

"All the money raised this year will be used for the same as last year," Albright said.

The MPAJFL comprises the Donegal Browns, Shaft Cardinals, Norvelt Colts, Mt. Pleasant Packers, and the United Steelers.

"The MPAJFL gives these kids the opportunity to not only play against each other, but it works as a good feeder program for the high school," Albright said. "It also gives these kids something to do to keep them occupied. This is the first year that the freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams all went undefeated and all of those players started out in the midget league."

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