METALCON set to fundraise for the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania (VLP)
- November 26, 2020
- Posted by: Alan Hageman
- Category: News
METALCON, the annual trade show and conference taking place Wednesday, Oct. 16 to Friday, Oct. 18 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, announced it partnered with the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania (VLP) to raise money for housing, employment and support services for eligible Pittsburgh-area veterans, service members and their families to improve their self-sufficiency, sustainability and quality of life.
Rocky Bleier, METALCON keynote presenter, four-time NFL Superbowl champion and running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is a supporter of the organization. After being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968, he was drafted by the U.S. Army to fight in Vietnam one year later. Bleier was quickly thrust into combat, seriously wounded, and told he would never walk again. He rehabilitated himself to condition for re-entry into the NFL and regained his running back position. Today, he is involved in fundraising and volunteering for VLP.
“The VLP was created at a time of need and change in the Pittsburgh community,” said Bleier. “With the advent of a changing steel industry in the early ’80s, mills were closing and people were left without jobs. Like all transitions, some people were caught in the middle and found themselves adrift, in debt, troubled and often homeless. Some of those people were veterans. The VLP was created and served as a hands-on agency, finding housing, jobs, interacting with the veterans association, and a place to just sit and talk or be alone.”
“I support VLP because they save lives, they make a difference and because it is the right thing to do,” continued Bleier.
Contributions to VLP can be made before, during and after the show online at www.metalcon.com or at The Deck, by the registration area in METALCON’s exhibit hall, where members of show management will be available to meet supporters. Following all fundraising efforts, a check presentation ceremony with Ben Stahl, the organization’s CEO, and METALCON show management will take place on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 4.45 p.m. in the convention center.
“We are happy to support a wonderful organization near and dear to our keynote speaker,” said Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON show director. “[Bleier’s] story is one of courage and determination, conquering insurmountable odds and becoming an extraordinary achiever. We hope the funds raised by our generous show audience will help other veterans who are facing adversity.”