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Steelers

Fay-West shows off Black 'n Gold spirit

| Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011

The love of the Steelers is in every fan's heart. And most like to show their pride for the Black 'n Gold.

Even today's youngest generation is finding ways to honor the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for Sunday's Super Bowl.

At Bullskin Township Elementary School, third-grade teachers Cheryl Hamilton, Junann Witt and Barb Swink have incorporated the Steelers and Super Bowl XLV into their teaching plans as they begin to prepare for the PSSA tests in March.

"We worked on a graph of all of our favorite Steeler players," Hamilton said. Students also used solid figures and shapes to make Steeler robots. A writing assignment will have students compose a postcard from Super Bowl XLV with five sentences to say what went on at the big game.

Hamilton said students are more receptive when it comes to doing a lesson when it's disguised as an art project.

Some students who are being schooled at Connellsville Junior High East used the Steelers for a fundraiser for community based instructional field trips.

The students and paraprofessionals made football pins and sold them for $1. Sales were strong after Pittsburgh won the AFC Championship Title two weeks ago.

Students at Marshall Elementary School in the Laurel Highlands School District decorated a school bus in honor of the Steelers on Friday.

Bus driver Greg Ritz let the students on his route decorate the bus which remained parked at the school for a pep rally held there later in the day.

"I can't even remember what started it," Ritz said. "I just thought it would be a good thing for the kids to do."

Ritz said the bus was decorated by the students during the two previous Super Bowls that the Steelers appeared.

School Principal Jesse Wallace allows the students to work on the decorations in the cafeteria prior to the pep rally.

"I hope to do some more decorating on the bus," Ritz said. During the pep rally, "Here We Go" fight song was played and students wore their Steelers' gear.

"We get a lot of reactions from the parents. They like to see their kids involved with it," said Ritz.

When it comes to decorating the workplace in black and gold, adults find themselves becoming kids.

At the Scottdale office of the Scottdale Bank and Trust, employees went all-out for the Steelers, setting up balloons, taping Steeler inserts from the Daily Courier on the walls, having an inflatable Steelers' helmet with Troy Polamalu hair sticking out from the back. There were also Terrible Towels and even a Steelers' hammer resting on a wedge of cheese.

"We're a bunch of Steelers' nuts here," said Scottdale Bank and Trust's Tinkey Nist.

Yesterday, Nist said employees brought food for a Super Bowl party lunch. Each employee paid $5 to be donated to the American Cancer Society for the annual Relay for Life. Last year, the bank raised $11,000 for the organization.

At Uniontown Hospital, many wards are decked in black and gold. Staff and patients are all getting into the Steelers' spirit.

Patient Gloria DeBerry of Uniontown, who's disappointed that she will still be in the hospital for the Super Bowl, has her room decorated with Steelers' items brought in by family and friends.

"I have about 20 times this much at home," DeBerry said.

DeBerry's nurse, Jodie Wilson, said the floor held a Steeler-themed 70th birthday party for DeBerry in December and also held a party for the AFC game where the patients met in a room to watch the game on a big-screen television.

"They didn't want to go back to their rooms," Wilson said. A similar party is being planned for Super Bowl Sunday.

A Hopwood couple that can only be described as a walking Steelers' pep rally is Brenda and Tim Landman.

The couple visited the hospital cafe yesterday dressed from head to toe in black and gold. The couple painted their faces and Tim Landman wore Steelers' sunglasses.

"We get all good reactions," said Brenda Landman. Tim Landman said he gets a lot of comments on his hat.

"Everybody gets pumped and excited," Tim Landman said.

And if you visit Jacqueline Mitchell's office at the Southwester Pennsylvania Goodwill, Uniontown office, you'd think the vice president of affiliate operations there was holding a Steelers-themed party there.

Mitchell has been a Steelers' fan her entire life. She started collecting Steelers items in 2005. She started with only five items on her office wall.

Currently, she has more than 300 items on her wall, in her office and everywhere a guest in her office can look.

"People have no idea I'm in the room," Mitchell said. "It takes a moment for them to absorb it all in."

The items in her office include a popcorn popper, gnomes, spiders, slippers, six-time Super Bowl champs Heinz ketchup bottle pack, an album of autographed photographs, license plates, piggy banks, tissue box cover, bird feeder, hard hat, hammer and everything else one can and cannot think of. She also has an autographed Steelers' football with more than 30 signatures.

"The staff loves it," Mitchell said. "If they see something when they're out shopping, they'll bring it in."

Staff member Amy Kacmar, the director of education and employment for that Goodwill office, has contributed to Mitchell's collection.

Kacmar said she's at the point when she sees something in a store, she'll take a photo with her phone and send it to Mitchell to see if she has it.

Mitchell said Goodwill staff and clients are celebrating the Steelers. But they celebrate throughout the season with tailgate parties for big games like the Super Bowl or the play-offs and for certain rivalries like Cleveland or Baltimore.

They even had a contest this week to come up with a Super Bowl XLV slogan. The winner had their slogan put on the outside marquee and won a Terrible Towel.

The winning phrase: "Going for 7 in 2011."

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