PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The philanthropic outreach of the Rooney family has been well-documented in Pittsburgh over the years.
A little more than 40 years ago, Art Rooney founded a dinner to raise money for Catholic youth charities in Pittsburgh.READ MORE: ACLU, Voter Groups Sue In Ohio Over New Legislative Maps
Four decades later, the legacy of the Rooney Award Dinner lives on.
“We always looked up to the Chief and to the Rooneys. That was kind of my first philanthropist before I thought about it — didn’t even know what that word was back then, but he was someone my dad said is someone that helps the community. He does it quietly. He does it humbly, and he’s really an ambassador and leader for the City of Pittsburgh,” Art Rooney Award winner Robert Citrone said.
Citrone, a billionaire and part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is the Rooney Award winner for 2016.
“We live up in Connecticut, but we consider Pittsburgh our home. We have a place here. We have a son who is a senior at Carnegie Mellon. We are involved with the Steelers, and we give back to a lot of different charities in Pittsburgh,” Citrone said.
Other honorees on the night included Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen as the Bob Prince Award winner.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Food Banks Team Up With DoorDash To Deliver Free Meals To Seniors
Ed Bouchette, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is the Bill Burns Award recipient for excellence in media for his longtime coverage of the Steelers.
As for the Steelers, how does the part-owner think his team will fare in 2016?
“It’s a veteran group. It’s got a little bit of mix of youth in there, but this is a team that has a lot of potential. It’s got a lot of leadership, and I think they showed a lot of heart last year and if we can stay a little bit healthier, I think our shot is tremendous,” Citrone said.
But for Citrone and the other winners, receiving any honor at the Rooney Awards is a lifetime achievement.
“We want to try to make a difference here, and we have a lot more that we can do. We are just kind of scratching the surface now in terms to our contribution to our hometown,” Citrone said.MORE NEWS: PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro Files Brief Saying Health Secretary Has Power To Mandate Masks In Schools