DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Ian Rosenberger From Survivor Palau At Highland Park

May 14, 2012 3:00 AM

(Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

dyr pittsburgh DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Ian Rosenberger From Survivor Palau At Highland Park

“My car may look small, but it fits my 6-foot-7 frame just fine.”

The Ride
The Driver: Ian Rosenberger
Car in Question: 2010 Toyota Prius
Spotted at: Highland Park Reservoir, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Odometer: 28,300
Car’s Nickname: Anita


Q: Wow! Ian Rosenberger from Survivor Palau. I love Survivor. Thank you for taking the time to participate in Defend Your Ride Pittsburgh. It’s interesting that a Toyota Prius is your vehicle of choice. What made you choose it?

A: I’m a big road trip fan. I grew up on a horse farm and used to drive a Ford F-150 truck. I was sick of paying $120 to fill up my gas tank. Now I pay $20 to fill up my gas tank.

Q: That’s a huge savings! Since you like road trips, can you tell us about the most interesting road trip you’ve been on in this car?

A: I drove to Washington, D.C. after deciding to go to Port-au-Prince to help with the earthquake in Haiti. The trip was three hours. It gave me a lot of time to think about what was happening. That trip was related to a nonprofit group I run called Team Tassy in Haiti.

Q: Helping Haiti is still an important cause. The devastation from the earthquake was incredible. Why did you get involved initially?

A: The earthquake happened in January 2010. We had just won a dodgeball match in Pittsburgh. We were in a bar and saw on Anderson Cooper that 300,000 people had just died in this earthquake in Haiti. I decided to get down to Port-au-Prince to see what was down there and what could be done. I had some experience in underdeveloped countries. I spent about five weeks there and just fell in love with the country. There is a lot of hope and beauty there that is hard to describe.

Q: Do you have a specific goal for your work in Haiti?

A: They are the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. They are so close to Miami and real civilization. There is so much opportunity to do so much so close to home. There is no reason they should suffer. My goal is to inspire action.

Q: That’s really great. So let’s get back to driving around where you currently live, here in Pittsburgh. What’s your take on it? Are Pittsburghers good drivers?

A: <laughing> I’m probably the wrong person to ask. I am the worst driver on the planet! I cut my teeth driving in New York and sharpened them driving in Port-au-Prince.

Q: Sounds like you must be a defensive driver. What do you think of the parking in Downtown Pittsburgh? Do you find it easy to find a spot?

A: It is a lot better than New York, but it would be better if some portion of our tickets could go to help some charity.

Q: That’s an excellent idea! There does seem to be an inordinate amount of ticketing in Pittsburgh, especially for parking. I appreciate your taking the time to speak with us today. Thank you and I think you can officially consider your car as having survived Defend Your Ride Pittsburgh.

A: Thank you.

Ian Rosenberger is a former contestant of Survivor Palau, which premiered in February 2005 and was the 10th season of the Survivor series. He was second runner up, lasting 38 days of the 39-day competition. Today Rosenberger helps run Team Tassy, a non-profit dedicated to helping the earthquake victims of Haiti.

View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at

(Defend Your Ride Pittsburgh photos and interview by Katherine Brown Sutton)

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