Share This Page

Esmark continues relief efforts as third anniversary of Haiti earthquake nears

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 11:19 a.m.

Saturday will mark the third anniversary for an earthquake that caused major damage in and around Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Pittsburgh and Sewickley quickly became the epicenter of relief efforts due, in part, to Esmark Inc. CEO Jim Bouchard.

The Sewickley resident recalls being on a treadmill watching television coverage of the disaster.

“I saw all of the destruction and I knew we had to do something for them,” Bouchard said. “They needed help faster than anybody could offer.”

Bouchard helped to organize an 80-member team of doctors and volunteers to help in relief efforts, which included more than $15 million in supplies. On a return trip to Pittsburgh, Bouchard helped to bring home 100 orphaned children that were set to be united with their United States parents.

“Seeing the devastation and destruction, that sticks with you,” Bouchard said. “And when you think of the lives lost and lives affected, it really makes you want to do whatever you can to help.”

Relief efforts and funding from Pittsburgh still continue to benefit Haiti.

Bouchard and Esmark have worked with the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation Haiti project, where volunteers and workers are building an orphanage, he said.

A Charity Classic event with Bouchard's Johnstown Tomahawks planned for Wednesday where about $100,000 would have benefitted the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation project was canceled due to the NHL's labor contract resolution, the junior hockey league team General Manager Rick Boyd said.

“The cancellation of this event is very unfortunate, and our entire hockey family is disappointed that as a community we are not able to proceed with the game, which would ultimately help benefit two wonderful non-profit organizations,” Boyd said in a post to the team's Facebook page. “While the NHL players return to work, we look forward to working with them in the future to create opportunities to raise awareness and funds for such worthy causes. We would like to acknowledge and give sincere gratitude to our fans and the community for the overwhelming support they have shown for this event.”

Bouchard said his work in Haiti will continue.

“We've pledged to continue supporting kids in Haiti,” Bouchard said. “We know there's still so much devastation there, and we'll continue to do what we can to help.”

Bouchard said he and his wife Carolyn recently flipped through photos from the earthquake.

“It was one of those life-changing experiences,” he said. “It's something you never will forget.”

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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.