Rossi: Picture perfect night for Talbot
The most priceless picture of Max Talbot isn’t the signed one that went for big bucks Thursday night at a silent auction to benefit the local chapter of his charitable foundation.
Everybody knows that picture: Talbot, finger pressed to his lips, shushing a ravenous Philadelphia crowd during Game 6 of a 2009 playoff game in which the Penguins rallied from a 3-0 deficit to eliminate the Flyers. That image is one Penguins fans will forever associate with Talbot, even more than the captures of his two goals in Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final.
It’s not his best photo, not by a long shot.
The best photos of Talbot were the ones hanging from the walls of Bossa Nova on Thursday night, when the local chapter of his charitable foundation launched with a silent auction to raise money for the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation’s Haitian orphanage project.
Talbot, who visited Haiti with teammate Mike Rupp this summer, wanted to raise $50,000 so an under-construction orphanage could be topped with a sufficient roof. He received that much from one donor.
About $100,000 in additional funds were raised from the sale of special items including jerseys autographed by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Steelers Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu; shoes painted by Talbot’s teammates; a special-make wine; and, yes, famous photos signed by the likes of Mario Lemieux.
The photos that struck a chord with the roughly 500 people invited to the three-hour party were those of Talbot smiling while wrapping his arms around Haitian orphans. In one shot, he is smiling while hugging a child tighter than he did the Stanley Cup only 17 months ago.
Two years ago, Talbot talked of wanting to extend his Max Talbot Foundation to Pittsburgh. He said he felt an obligation to help the less fortunate children in a city he had come to consider “just like home for me.”
The Haitian orphans, who have touched his soul, come first now — but only because they need Talbot’s generosity more than ever because of poor health and water conditions.
Talbot plans to return to Haiti next summer. If the Penguins are lucky enough to win the Stanley Cup again, don’t bet against him taking it on that trip.
Rob Rossi, in his fourth season covering the Penguins, shares some of the scenes unique to a traveling beat reporter.