Before the Bus hits Canton, Jerome Bettis is making several other important stops this year.
Less than a month after being elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Bettis made stops in Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. this past week.
On Tuesday, Bettis was in Pittsburgh to lend his support for Pittsburgh's teen summer job program, "Summer of Learn and Earn." Speaking at a press conference downtown, Bettis announced that his The Bus Stops Here Foundation has joined the effort to solicit corporate sponsorships to help expand the city's 30-year-old summer youth employment program.Bettis will work with Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto in an effort to raise 4.5 million in public and private investment to help fund student wages and other administrative costs.
"I’m here for the long haul," Bettis told Post Gazette reporter Robert Zullo. "This is my community and I feel that it’s important for me to invest in this community, because this community invested in me when I came here. They brought me in and welcomed me and I became part of this city. It’s my way of saying, ‘Thank you.’ "
The following day, Bettis and his wife Trameka were guests at President Barack Obama's Black History Month reception held at the White House. Before he receives his Hall of Fame bust, Bettis visited President Abraham Lincoln's bust and documented the moment on his Twitter page.
A fan favorite during his playing days, it was not a surprise when news surfaced this week that tickets for this year's Hall of Fame induction ceremony are "selling fast" per Hall of Fame President David Baker. It was also announced on Wednesday that the Hall of Fame game between the Steelers and Vikings has already sold out.
For an athlete that gave and continues to give so much of himself, it appears that Bettis will receive the same kind of support and appreciation during his memorable weekend in Canton this August.