Monday, June 25, 2007

Pittsburgh, Ireland

The Pittsburgh Steelers could do much more for the city. Dan Rooney (yep, that Dan Rooney) co-founded in 1976 The Ireland Funds, a "worldwide network of people of Irish ancestry and friends of Ireland dedicated to raising funds to support programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland."

The Funds held their annual international conference this past weekend. Interest in donating to Ireland is up among the Irish Diaspora, boosting the already substantial coffers of The Ireland Funds to about $300 million. That's a lot of scratch for a country with a booming economy thanks to many years of European Union investment and subsidies.

I applaud Rooney's dedication to his ancestral homeland, but I think he could spearhead a similar initiative for Pittsburgh, calling on Steelers Nation to support regional programs and development. Now would be a good time to found The Pittsburgh Funds and enlist the efforts of the Burgh Diaspora.

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