Spent most of Wednesday afternoon chatting with Penguins Fs Mike Rupp and Max Talbot, and Upper St. Clair’s most famous baseball stud, Sean Casey, about their visit last weekend to a Haiti, where the local teams’ voluntary Chaplin Brad Henderson’s Pittsburgh Kids Foundation is helping to complete a orphanage project in Cap-Haitien. Much of what the athletes told me was inspiring, but nothing staggered me as much as this from Casey: “You get there and realize it’s not about making their lives better; it’s about saving their lives.”
A second orphanage — necessary because of overcrowding in the aftermath of last year’s devastating earthquake — needs a roof, and Henderson is hoping Talbot, Rupp and Casey can help raise the $150,000 needed for that project. Otherwise, some of the children in these photos might not be around for the guys’ return next June.
“That’s a real possiblity,” Rupp said.
“Sometimes you don’t know how trips are going to go, and it’s a scary thing,” Talbot said. ”Until you do it you’re like, ‘What is going on down there?’
“What surprised me the most is their level of understanding and closeness, how polite they are, and their values. That’s what got me. Every person you cross is polite. They don’t need to be, but they are.”
The athletes all plan to get on their charity horses to help Henderson. If interested readers are encouraged to log onto www.pittsburghkidsfoundation.org and www.haitianchildrensfund.org. Also, Chipped Ice plans to keep its audience updated on the project’s progress.
Enjoy these photos courtesy of PKF.