McCandless resident Woodruff to be honored for 'caring commitment'
By Chris Adamski
Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Dwayne Woodruff is in a prime position to influence young people's lives in a positive way as a judge in the Family Division of Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
His status as a Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steeler first made him a role model, and while his professional football career made him eligible for the Leather Helmet Award he won because he demonstrates “a sense of caring commitment and significant contributions to charitable causes.”
The McCandless resident will be honored for winning the award at the Minor Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction and Recognition Awards Ceremony at 11 a.m. May 4 at the Sen. John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum in Pittsburgh's Strip District.
“I could be driving a pickup truck or whatever the job is, and I'd still be trying to do the same things,” said Woodruff, who played for the Steelers from 1979 to 1990.
“But there's no question about the fact that having played for the Pittsburgh Steelers gives me more of a platform to stand on to talk to people, so that's definitely a blessing. I've enjoyed being a judge, as well, but when life puts you in a certain position, a lot more is expected out of you. I just hope to continue to try to meet those expectations.”
Woodruff, 56, attended law school as his playing days wound down and eventually helped found his own firm. He was elected a judge in 2005 and has worked primarily in the juvenile division.
Woodruff and his wife, Joy, serve as chairpeople of the Do the Write Thing Challenge Program in Pittsburgh. The primary initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence, Do the Write Thing gives a voice to young people as they examine the impact of violence on their lives.
“Look at what he's done in the community and for young kids,” said Tom Averell, Minor Pro Football Hall of Fame director. “His charities and other events he's involved in help kids who are on the wrong side of the street and help turn them into people who are on the right side.
“Then ... ‘Do The Write Thing' and the work it does with violence in schools and things of that nature and the community service. There are people doing these things, and these are the kind of people whom we're going out and honoring.”
Among past winners of the Leather Helmet Award is Woodruff's former Steelers teammate, Robin Cole. The former linebacker founded the Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer.
The Do the Write Thing Challenge Program banquet is less than three weeks after the Leather Helmet presentation. Last year, Woodruff said, more than 1,400 youths from the Pittsburgh area took part in the program.
Youths are asked to write essays about their thoughts on three primary questions:
• What do think causes violence?
• What are the effects of violence on youth?
• What do you believe cam be done to eliminate it?
“We get some great ideas from some of the kids,” Woodruff said. “They never cease to amaze, with how smart kids can be.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Photo Gallery: Pancake dinner at Hiland Presbyterian Church in Ross
- Hampton to honor Pirates manager, township resident Hurdle