Brett and Sarah Keisel are active in their community throughout the season and offseason by hosting and supporting important causes. Brett also attends various events and activities hosted by his teammates or the Steelers which benefit many great causes.
The Keisel’s work closely with the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation by hosting the 65 Roses Sports Auction each year and they are also Advisory Board Members for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF).
More information on both the CF Foundation and the HCEF can be found below and on the right side of this page under Keisel Causes.
Some of the causes, events and activities the Keisel’s have been involved in:
65 Roses Sports Auction:
This annual sports spectacular features a live auction with autographed memorabilia from every sport imaginable and proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Brett and his family host the event annually and of course many of Brett’s teammates attend it also.
Keisel serves as the honorary chairman for the Cystic Fibrosis 65 Roses Sports Auction, and it touches his heart when he meets some of the CF Ambassadors, young kids like (Emma) Chichilla and two-year old Anthony Sarkis.
“The biggest thing that has grabbed my wife and I was the first event when we met Emma and saw the impact it had on her and her family,” said Keisel. “We had the opportunity to meet Anthony too as I did a PSA with him for Cystic Fibrosis. Just seeing the challenges these kids are born with and there is no cure for it, that is what we are fighting for, a cure.”
Emma has been at the event each year and is always excited to see Brett. You can usually find her by his side throughout the event. She is shown with Keisel in the photo above-wearing her 99 1/2 shirt of course!
Anthony Sarkis is another child Brett met through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He filmed a CF Public Service Announcement with Brett and attends the 65 Roses event with his family. The photo shows Brett with the Sarkis family. From L-R: Anthony’s grandmother, father, Brett (with Anthony’s brother, Matt in front of him), Anthony’s mother (holding Anthony) and his grandpap-Doug Sarkis.
Doug was kind enough to send this about Brett:
“One tough defensive end in the NFL, great community leader, great family man and a man I am lucky enough to spend a few hours with each year as we raise money for a cause very dear to my heart.
Brett is the Steelers spokesman for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 65 Roses Sports Auction.
Because of Brett, we have a PSA about Cystic Fibrosis in which he and our grandson, Anthony star in! This PSA is shown on all the local TV stations in the Pittsburgh viewing area.
Thanks Brett for all you do on and off the field!”— The A Team
Photos from the event are in the photo gallery under “65 Roses Sports Auction.”
Brett also posed for a “Respect the Beard” shirt to raise money for the CF Foundation and for HCEF. He sold posed professional photos (by Carol Maurin) to raise money for both causes.
You can find a link for Carol Maurin’s photos on the Links page here on the site.
Champions for Children Benefit:
Hosted by the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF), this event benefits the educational needs of local homeless children.
The Homeless Children’s Education Fund was founded in 1999 by Dr. Joseph F. Lagana.
HCEF is committed to ensuring that children who are homeless have access to the same educational opportunities and experiences as their peers. It focuses on providing “hope through learning” by:
Raising public awareness of the very existence of children’s homelessness and the concomitant challenges to their academic success.
Providing enhancements to and support of learning within transitional and bridge housing as well as emergency shelters.
Offering multiple opportunities for adults, youths, and children to becomes advocates for families experiencing homelessness and the educational rights of the children affected.
“Brett and Sarah Keisel have been supporters of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) since 2004. Many times when a professional athlete gets involved with a charitable organization it is in name only. This is NOT the case with Brett and Sarah.
Brett and Sarah have taken the time to learn and understand the plight and promise of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Sarah has attended and spoken at seminars and conferences that HCEF has had over the last 7 years. Brett has visited shelters and met youth who are experiencing homelessness.
They are true advocates for this very vulnerable population of youth.
They have also contributed financially and supported the organization in our fund raising efforts. The have attended all 7 of our Annual Champions for Children galas since becoming involved with HCEF. Not even being 8 months pregnant prevented Sarah from joining us one year.
In 2011 Brett and Sarah were recognized as the HCEF Champions for Children. This is an annual award given for having a significant positive impact on the lives of children and youth experiencing homelessness in Allegheny County.
Through the support of Brett and Sarah, HCEF has been able to make a difference in the education of thousands of children experiencing homelessness over the last 7 years. They enable us to provide “Hope through learning”.
You can read more about Brett and Sarah and their contributions by visiting theHCEF website.”— Bill Wolfe-Executive Director- HCEF.
The Keisel’s also sponsored some fundraisers to benefit HCEF (and other charities). One such fundraiser was the sale of Brett’s “Respect the Beard” t-shirts. Through the sales of the shirts, over $2600.00 was donated to HCEF!
Please take time to read more about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and The Homeless Children’s Education Fund. Both are great causes to support!
Bid for Hope:
Bid for Hope is hosted by Heath and Katie Miller and sponsored through A Glimmer of Hope to support the research surrounding breast cancer within women under 40.
Glimmer of Hope, founded by Diana Napper, is a Pennsylvania non-profit organization that has been supporting breast cancer research since 1994. The organization has raised over $1 million to further fund the largest premenopausal breast cancer study in the United States.
Support the reasearch surrounding breast cancer within women under 40.
Glimmer of Hope is currently helping to fund a study which aims to:
Ascertain future reproductive potential in young women treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Ascertain the impact of chemotherapy on the patients’ hormonal status.
Ascertain the safety of subsequent pregnancy after a diagnosis of breast cancer since pregnancy can greatly increase the level of hormones that can promote the growth of breast cancer.
Ascertain the impact of breast cancer treatment from a quality of life standpoint.
Provide funding for genetic testing in economically disadvantaged young women diagnosed with breast cancer since the diagnosis of BRCA mutations can have far ranging impact on the patient and her children.
Brett and Sarah attend Bid for Hope each year to support Diana and A Glimmer of Hope.
Brett and Sarah Keisel have supported A Glimmer of Hope Foundation for 7 years. They have always attended an annual event called Bid for Hope. This event, held every October, raises money for research for young women with breast cancer. The Keisel’s generosity and genuine gift of giving have been truly appreciated by all the young women that are battling this devastating disease.
They have also done interviews at the event which have helped our cause tremendously. The Keisel’s are both very open and caring individuals, and truly have made an incredible difference in the lives of the people they have helped.
It is with a grateful heart that we thank Brett and Sarah for all their charity work.They are fantastic role models not only in the city of Pittsburgh, but across the country.–Diana Napper-founder of A Glimmer of Hope.
Project Bundle Up
Keisel and many Steelers teammates team up with the Salvation Army each winter to make sure all children have proper winter attire. Each player is paired with a child and they set off on a shopping adventure to find a winter coat, hat, gloves and scarf, the perfect combination to fight off the winter chill.
“This is the best day of my life!” Javon Wade, 9, of Arnold, said as he waited for defensive end Brett Keisel to sign one of the promotional Steelers programs distributed to all the kids.-From an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
More information to come. Community page is still under construction so stay tuned!