In the mid-1990s, Ad’s Pizza, a Windsor Locks institution for over 50 years, moved to its current location at 377 S. Center Street. Soon after, die hard Steelers fan Jim Tillona brought up the idea of starting a Steelers fan club to Ad’S co-owner Joe DeLeo. DeLeo, also a fan, thought it was a great idea as he and his father, John, already watched every game. As the 1995 season began, the Steelers Fan Club had its debut with 40 members and a Steelers Super Bowl appearance. Soon, word of mouth began to spread and membership grew.
Over the years, the large amount of steel work located in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts caused many families moved to the area from Pittsburgh. Now, these loyal Steelers fans, as well as those native to the area, had a place of their own to watch the games. While many other establishments in the area catered to the local teams, Ad’S stayed true to the black and gold, soon bringing in nearly 200 fans per game from all over Connecticut and Massachusetts.
As the club membership grew, Tillona began to add different events each week. One afternoon each season brings the annual Tailgate Party. Each club member brings food, drinks or games for a true pre-game party in the parking lot. Each week also features a free members-only raffle where prizes include all types of Steelers merchandise, most brought in direct from Pittsburgh! All in attendance can also try their luck at a 50-50 raffle during every game. There are also special raffles and contests each season that not only offer unique, sometimes one-of-a-kind Steelers memorabilia but also raise money for the club and local charities. The club was instrumental in the 1990S raising money for a local South Windsor boy who was paralyzed from the neck down. After the 2001 terrorist attacks, the club raised funds for NYC firefighters. All other proceeds go back into the club and are used to purchase raffle prizes, club shirts for all members, and upgrade the TVs throughout the club so Steelers fans can truly have a unique experience at AD's watching the game.