View Full Version : Polamalu effort brings in $135,000 for military fundraiser

02-09-2011, 09:51 AM
Polamalu effort brings in $135,000 for military fundraiser
By Bill Zlatos
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu did not win another Super Bowl ring Sunday, but he rang in $135,000 for veterans, service members and their families through an online auction on Twitter.

The gift is a record for Operation Once in a Lifetime, a Dallas-based charity that helps the military, often with free tickets for travel or entertainment. But the total fell short of expectations -- possibly because of the Super Bowl.

"I'm happy ... but I was hoping for a little bit more," said Patrick M. Sowers, founder and president of Operation Once in a Lifetime.

Sowers said about 30 celebrities, including some Steelers and Dallas Mavericks owner and Mt. Lebanon native Mark Cuban, had said they would help out, but never filled out the paperwork to participate.

In an e-mail, Cuban said he responded and tweeted as asked.

Sowers said other celebrities, including athletes, did not tweet enough to drum up more business.

"If athletes had more time, we probably could have raised more money," Sowers said. "But then we wouldn't have the Super Bowl tickets."

The auction ran Jan. 29 through Feb. 5 and was sponsored by TwitChange, an Atlanta-based group that holds celebrity auctions for charity on Twitter. Fans bid on a chance to be followed, mentioned or re-tweeted by their favorite star. They also could bid on a mega-package that, in addition to the other items, included some celebrity gifts.

For his mega-package, Polamalu offered six autographed tickets to the Super Bowl, two of which were with his family. The six tickets brought in $22,000. He could not be reached for comment.

Teammate Lawrence Timmons raised $300. Even Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews took part, raising more than $2,000.

Bill Zlatos can be reached at bzlatos@tribweb.com or 412-320-7828.

Read more: Polamalu effort brings in $135,000 for military fundraiser - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_721985.html#ixzz1DTecxund

02-09-2011, 10:04 AM
Mesa, you're slippin!!!