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A Pittsburgh tradition continues
December 15, 2017 12:50 AM | Teresa Varley
The holidays are about tradition and giving, and both of those magical things were on display Thursday night at the 64th Annual Children's Hospital Free Care Fund Benefit.

The Free Care Fund was established for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to continue to provide health care to every child in the community, regardless of the family's ability to pay. Each year KDKA-TV hosts the benefit, with a live show that brings the community together to help families who are in need of the financial aid to help pay for medical expenses.

There are small donations that come from kid's bake sales and lemonade stands, to corporate donations from local companies who are well aware of the important work Children's Hospital does.

Steelers President Art Rooney II was on hand for the telethon, presenting a check for $16,683 courtesy of the team's 50/50 raffle.

"It's a great Pittsburgh tradition," said Rooney. "I have been here a few years in a row, so it's nice to make it a tradition, and hopefully people make it a tradition by donating. It's amazing how so many people in the community support this. It's been going on for as long as I can remember. They used to always do a collection at our games. It's great how our community has supported it for so many years."

Also on hand to answer phones and take donations were Arthur Moats and Charlie Batch, who both understand the importance of the telethon and what it means to the city. Moats also visited patients, delivering teddy bears and bringing smiles.

"When you think about the tradition of it, it's one of the major staples with people coming together as a city," said Moats, taking part for the first time. "I am glad to have the opportunity to help out. This is something that shows it doesn't matter where you are in life, you can always help. This particular telethon helps bring everybody together to make the city a better place."

Batch is a regular at the telethon, and like Moats he was excited to help out families in need, to relieve the pressure on them when it comes to health care.

"I am excited to be a part of it," said Batch. "When you see how long they have been doing it, it's like wow it's amazing. It's funny because people don't believe it's you on the other end of the phone. It's great to talk to the people who are supporting it. The small donations add up. This is a prime example of that."

The Steelers are giving back in another way as well. For anyone who gives a monthly gift of $20 or more to the Free Care Fund either online or called in during the telethon, Steelers' players will deliver a teddy bear to a patient on their behalf. So, not only are you helping the Free Care Fund, but you are making a child's day.

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