Tony Cook, 8, of Liberty served as the foundation’s special ambassador for a presentation on Friday and watched the Black-and-Gold practice.
Tony has been instrumental in raising about $44,000 for Make-A-Wish, which includes a $30,000 contribution from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.
He shared his experience with classmates on Monday morning.
“It was really cool,” Tony said of his visit with the Steelers. “They made it sound like they were at a real game.”
He showed the class an autographed football, picture and jersey worn by Roethlisberger during the game against the Oakland Raiders. He also received a Terrible Towel signed by other players, watched practice at the Steelers’ South Side facility and checked out Roethlisberger’s locker.
“It’s like a really big locker room,” Tony said. “I found he had the left top corner (locker).”
Roethlisberger on Friday presented a $30,000 check from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation to Make-A-Wish president and CEO Judith Stone.
Tony handed over his savings to Make-A-Wish last year, making a Christmas donation of $185.35. He raised $264.50 this February through a bake sale during parent-teacher conferences at the elementary school, and continues to raise funds through other bake sales and a golf outing organized by his uncle, David Hoffmann, and DB Root & Co.
“He’s a very nice guy,” Tony said of Roethlisberger.
Students were impressed with Tony’s memorabilia and stories.
“I think you should let him have a homework pass,” classmate Brielle Boyle said to teacher Julie Doughty.
You can read more here.
You can also watch the video of Ben’s presentation to Make-A-Wish here.
*Photo: Cindy Shegan Keeley