Professional hockey player and Pittsburgh native J.B. Bittner raises money for the Special Olympics
Many professional athletes have begun to use their fame and wealth to better the lives of others. Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch spoke on campus about his Best of the Batch Foundation, and now J.B. Bittner, a Florida Everblades hockey player and another Pittsburgh native, is giving back to the community as well.
The professional hockey player decided to raise money for the Special Olympics after watching his 12-year-old cousin Patrick, born with Down Syndrome, participate in the Games.
The excitement of his cousin and that of the other athletes sparked a passion within Bittner. Since then, he has joined forces with Aspirations, a contemporary golf apparel company, to create a new line. Ten percent of the proceeds from each sale go to the Special Olympics.
“I grew up in Pittsburgh and that’s the Special Olympics organization that my company will donate to first,” Bittner said. “My cousin participates in the Special Olympics of Allegheny County and that’s why I wanted to promote in the Pittsburgh area.
“I chose golf shirts over hockey apparel because I felt that it was an easier market, plus there are a lot more people that play golf than hockey,” Bittner said. “I always wanted to give back to an organization and now, since I’m starting this company, it gives me a chance to do that.”
Bittner was inspired by the Special Olympians and now is using Aspirations as a way to inspire others to help, in addition to increasing awareness in the Pittsburgh area. He hopes that his contribution will provide the Special Olympics with the resources to continue offering such an outstanding environment.