ALLEGHENY COUNTY NEWS
9:00 a.m. on December 20, 2008
CONTACT: Mary Beth Mueller
Pittsburgh Steeler Quarterback Charlie Batch Helps Santa Deliver Toys to Children of Parents at County Jail
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Steeler Charlie Batch helped Santa deliver toys today to children of inmates visiting their parents who are in the Allegheny County Jail this holiday season. Batch, Santa and some of Santa’s elves welcomed children as they arrived for regularly scheduled visits with a parent or loved one housed in the Jail.
The gifts were provided by the Best of the Batch Foundation, founded by Batch to provide programs to directly impact low-income, underprivileged youth and their families in our region.
“I want to thank Charlie Batch for his generosity and continued commitment to Southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato. “Whether through his development company or the Best of the Batch Foundation, Charlie continues to give back to his hometown and strives to make it a better place for children to grow up.”
The Gwen Elliott Family Activity Center served as host to Batch and the children. It is the first family friendly waiting area of its kind in a major jail in the United States, providing education, services and comfort to children who visit family members in the jail.
“On a daily basis the Family Activity Center serves as a special place for children to spend time with their caregivers while waiting to visit parents,” said Claire Walker, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation, which collaborated with the Allegheny County Jail and Public Works Department, staff of Lydia’s Place, and numerous other agencies to open the center in 2007. “Today is a wonderful day at the Family Activity Center. It marks Santa’s first visit to the Jail’s new children’s area and is even more special as Santa is accompanied by Super Bowl champion Charlie Batch.”
Since opening in last spring 2007, the center has had more than 5,000 visits from children and 4,200 visits from adults accompanying children as they wait to visit loved ones.
Best of the Batch Foundation was founded by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ back-up quarterback, Charlie Batch, and is based in Charlie’s hometown of Homestead, PA. The goal of the Foundation is to provide low-income, underprivileged youth and their families with the purpose, desire, and resources to give their best efforts in all they do throughout their lives.
For more information, go to www.batchfoundation.org