FORMER PITTSBURGH STEELERS—Front row: Mike Wagner, Mel Blount, Donnie Shell. Back row: Randy Grossman, Mike Logan, Dwayne Woodruff, J.T. Thomas, Ron Johnson and John Stallworth (Photos by Debbie Norrell)

For 20 years the Mel Blount Youth Home has held a celebrity roast. According to Mel Blount, it began in 1998 as a get together to celebrate his 50th birthday and help raise money for the home. He says it was his wife TiAnda’s idea.

Fast forward 20 years to April 6, 2018. Hundreds gathered at Heinz Field for the 20th Anniversary Mel Blount Youth Home All-Star Celebrity Roast honoring former Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive End Brett Keisel, #99. With former Pittsburgh Steeler Max Starks as master of ceremonies, guests enjoyed a VIP reception, the music of The Tubby Daniels Band featuring Anita Levels, a great dinner, hundreds of auction items and a laugh out loud roast of Keisel. The roast featured a short skit that centered on Keisel, aka “Da Beard.” Former teammates Matt Spaeth, Heath Miller and Ben Roethlisberger had fun roasting their teammate. Keisel said he was able to select the people that would roast him and he knew that the main topic would be his beard. Blount said he has always liked Brett’s spirit and that is why he wanted to personally honor him.

The presentation ended with an unveiling of a portrait of Keisel by artist August Vernon. Before everyone headed home, Blount was wished a happy 70th birthday. The mission of the Mel Blount Youth Leadership Initiative is to provide youth with programs where they will have a healthy environment to learn, work, play and develop principles of respect, responsibility and leadership.

This was the first Mel Blount Youth Home All-Star Celebrity Roast to be held at Heinz Field. Blount said it felt like the right place to be.

 

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