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Steelers' Batch named finalist for award

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 3:24 p.m.

Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch has been named a finalist for the Byron “Whizzer” White Award that recognizes players who go above and beyond to perform community service in their city and hometown.

Batch, a Homestead native and Steel Valley graduate, is deeply involved in the community with his Best of the Batch Foundation that he started in 2000.

The foundation, which offers programs that directly impact the youth of financially challenged communities around Pittsburgh, is highlighted by Project C.H.U.C.K., a youth basketball league held in Homestead during spring and summer.

The “Whizzer” White Award is presented by the NFL Players' Association. White is a former Supreme Court Justice who also was a scholar, athlete, humanitarian and public servant.

“I am honored to be one of the five finalists for The Byron “Whizzer” White Award, the NFLPA's most distinguished award,” Batch said via Twitter. “Congratulations to all finalists. I'm proud to be in your company.”

During the annual NFLPA locker room meetings last month, players selected teammates to be recognized with NFLPA PULSE Awards for their community work. The winners — Batch and Ryan Clark from the Steelers — were invited to submit applications for the “Whizzer” White Award in order to receive monetary donations for their foundations or a charity of their choice.

A panel of peers selected five finalists from the PULSE winners. Finalists will receive additional charity donations, and the winner will receive an additional $100,000 for his charity.

Minnesota linebacker Chad Greenway, Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman, Cleveland tight end Benjamin Watson and Dallas tight end Jason Witten join Batch as finalists. The winner will be announced Feb. 1 at the NFLPA's State of the Union news conference at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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