It’s never easy to describe an individual in one word, but if you had to come up with one for Charlie Batch, there is a word that quickly comes to mind.
Batch is always doing something in the community, something to make a difference for others, because quite simply he cares.
And on Thursday night that was on display in a fun and entertaining manner when he hosted the Best of the Batch Foundation’s 13th Annual In the Pocket, an event that goes well beyond the fun and games that it appears to be on the outside.
“This event is the only annual fundraiser we have,” said Batch. “A lot is put into this because it helps support our literacy program and our STEAM program. It’s always something we get excited about. There are so many people that support and believe in our mission and what we are trying to accomplish at the Batch Foundation. We are excited and humbled by it.”
The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) program is the main education program the Best of the Batch Foundation supports, an avenue to relate those subjects in real life. The foundation uses the program to nurture students’ unique skills sets to allow them to learn in alternative ways, making it easier to understand and relate. Coupled with the reading literacy program, the foundation keeps growing, serving 3,800 kids annually in seven different counties. Because of that growth the foundation has to expand at their current location in Homestead.
For the past 20 years the foundation has operated out of a 5,000 square foot facility. Now they are building a 21,000 square foot state of the art educational facility that will open in the Spring of 2020 and allow them to serve even more kids. The new facility, affectionately nicknamed “The Clubhouse,” will allow the foundation to continue to help those who don’t have access to a Boys & Girls Club or YMCA type of facility for after school programs. They will expand their mentoring, tutoring, computer lab, STEAM and behavioral programs, as well as find new ways to help local youth.
“This is exciting,” said Batch. “We have so many different things that are going on with our foundation. We continue to grow, continue to expand. The kids are excited about it. Every time we sit back and think 20 years ago did we ever sit back and think we would be in this position, the answer is I am not sure. I can’t so no, because we started the foundation.”
This year’s In the Pocket was a ‘Showdown’ theme, with guests laid back in their jeans, boots and flannel shirts. Batch and former and current Steelers players challenged guests in an array of games, while all the time having the deeper cause in their hearts.
“It’s remarkable the way the guests and the players turn out,” said Batch. “When you sit back and look at these guys and how involved they are in the community and all the different events they go out and support, we are truly humbled.
“It’s incredible to keep seeing the support not just from the players, but from the entire Steelers organization.”