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Players 4 Kids Gala is game-changer for at-risk kids

Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Pascal Dupuis, Brad Henderson and Matt Cooke during Players for Kids Gala â?? Pittsburgh Kids Foundation/Players 4 Kids at Heinz Field on Thursday, October 4, 2012.

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
 

The celebrity guest list from the Players 4 Kids Gala looked more like a collective team roster for all things black and gold, where a quick scan of the room revealed the presence of Ben Roethlisberger, Neil Walker, Chris Kunitz, Jason Gildon, Tunch Ilkin, LaMarr Woodley, Alex Presley, Jack Wilson, Matt Niskanen, and Joey Vitale.

Hosted by Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis, the evening benefited the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation, which works to change the lives of at-risks in the Pittsburgh region, as well as orphaned children in Haiti.

“I got to go to Haiti with my wife (Michelle). ... You have no idea what you even take for granted until you go there. Once you realize what's out there, you just have to do something,” Cooke said.

Held in the West Club Lounge of Heinz Field on Thursday, the event drew a record crowd of 390 guests, including prez Dr.Brad Henderson, Mark Williams, and John andColette Irvin, and raised $250K.

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