Photos by Mike Longo Jr.
Steelers Cam Heyward and Najee Harris can't believe a call in the Three Rivers Celebrity Softball Game.
By Mike Longo Jr.
Steelers Cameron Heyward hosted the second annual Three Rivers Celebrity Softball game along with Dorin Dickerson at Wild Things Park in Washington County. The event, complete with all the hoopla, benefited The Heyward House, Cam's Foundation.
This year's event pitted "Team Burgh" versus "Team World." It was another talent-laden affair with celebrities from all facets of the sports world, past and present. Team Burgh was victorious by a final blowout score of 14-4.
Of note for "Team World' were Darnell Artis of the Harlem Globetrotters, Pro Wrestler Chelsea Green and former NBA Star and current announcer Jalen Rose. Stepping up to support the cause for "Team Burgh" and joining Heyward were a host of current Steelers including Kenny Pickett, Terrell Edmunds, Mitch Trubisky, Calvin Austin III and Najee Harris.
Last year's event raised $10,000 with a less-than-capacity crowd. This year, was a different story as bigger was better with a host of big-name players. Area fans responded with a standing-room-only sell-out event that raised $50,000.
The Heyward House was started in 2015 by the Steelers defensive end. The group’s motto is, "Dedicated to impacting the lives of today’s youth".
From childhood, Heyward had a severe asthma condition which required countless hospitalizations along with some frightening close-call episodes. Against seemingly impossible odds to play any sports least of all football with all of its physical demands, Heyward persevered.
Those experiences taught Cam to not take anything for granted – good or bad. Passionately he spreads that message to others. Cam's medical condition was no comparison to the next life-changing event he would encounter as a teenager – the death of his father Craig Heyward, left to be raised in a single-parent household.
He knows firsthand of struggles along with the importance for people in life-altering situations to feel the support of a community. Cam is determined to offer that support in any way he can.
Those that tug at his heartstrings are kids. He often visits sick children in hospitals with serious medical conditions, takes others shopping for winter clothes and sends birthday presents and cards to those who rarely are afforded the chance to be celebrated. Cam knows every kid needs to have someone on their side – offering support and strength always.
Cam started the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Project. That project was in honor of his Grandfather, his "Pup Pup" Rufus Jordan. It spreads love of reading, learning and education across our region as both grandparents were educators for 35 and 30 years respectively.
Craig's Closest was started in honor of Cam's father offering clothing for youths in need of attending a banquet or job interviews.
Other Heyward house endeavors include Voices of Hope Scholarships, Acts of Kindness, Cam's Birthday bash, Helping Local Students and Sacks For Kids.
"We're just trying to prepare these kids for the future, helping out in any way", Heyward said.
The Foundation is constantly helping young people from Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. When our area's youth seem at their lowest, be it medically or life-altering events in general, The Heyward House is always there, without fanfare, without posting names, moving along quietly without accolades.
I would venture to say that some of the youth within our coverage area have benefited and received a helping hand from the foundation. Again without any fanfare.
If you might be interested in volunteering, sign up at thecameronheywardfoundation.org. Most needed are volunteers for Craig's Closet and people to be Acts of Kindness Ambassadors.
So to our loyal readers and followers, look into your hearts and see if volunteering with the Heyward House is something of interest. If not, donations are always accepted.