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Tackle Poverty with the Polamalus benefit draws 400

| Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, 6:18 p.m.
John Altdorfer
His Eminence Metropolitan Savas at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland during the Tackle Poverty with the Polamalus event to benefit FOCUS Pittsburgh. Nov. 21, 2013.
John Altdorfer
Event chair Cynthia Raftis with Troy and Theodora Polamalu and FOCUS executive director Nicholas Chakos at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland during the Tackle Poverty with the Polamalus event to benefit FOCUS Pittsburgh. Nov. 21, 2013.

“We're all responsible for each other and share the burdens of each other,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh as he watched 400 guests filter into St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Nov. 21. “The cry for help is unavoidable. You can't help but be aware of the need. It requires immediate and constant attention.”

The sellout crowd also couldn't help but be aware of the presence of beloved Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and wife Theodora, namesakes of the Tackle Poverty with the Polamalus benefit for FOCUS North America.

“They really live up to their reputation ... and exceed it,” said executive director Nicholas Chakos, referring to the duo's legendary down-to-earth and compassionate nature.

With a mission rooted in the passage of Matthew 25, the Fellowship of Christians United to Serve offers assistance for those in need of food, occupation, clothing, understanding and shelter — oftentimes during their darkest hour.

“It's a special event for us,” said Theodora, a founding board member. “It's easier not to deal with it and turn your back on people suffering from poverty, but this is a great way of dealing with the issue.”

The event was chaired byCynthia Raftis. Also spied were the Rev.Chris Bender, Paul Abernathy, the Hon. Jill and John Rangos,Sally Wiggin,andLarry andCindy Richert.

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