About Town

What makes a charity golf tournament successful? These three elements: the quality of the course; the abundance of prizes; and the social value of the sponsor.

So the 32nd Weirton United Way event June 10 can be billed as a premier event. It could hardly be otherwise since it’s played on the superlative fairways and greens of Williams Country Club. And a veteran committee puts in strenuous work to assure a high quality event for the patrons.

But the clincher for most golfers is this: It’s a charity event. The benefactors are people in need. Most golfers are charity-minded. So this tournament traditionally draws a full field – as it should!

Renewing their platinum sponsorships for this year’s tournament are Arcelor Mittal and Cross IT Services and Solutions.

It was 78 years ago, in 1935, when Weirton leaders founded the Weir-Cove Community Chest. The organization eventually became Weirton United Way.

Don Gianni Jr. of James White Construction Co., Freedom Way, Weirton, is this year’s campaign chair. It’s a long, tough job. He deserves our support.

Across the years, most of Weirton’s business leaders volunteered to serve as campaign chair. Since 1962, these people have served in that position: Mike Starvaggi, J. Haydn Harris, Ernie Rothrock, G.W. Gould, Carl Hamill, William H.C. Webster, W.V. Archer, John A. Jones, W.F. Wilharm, John G. Redline, Robert D. Birch, George D. Sission, Donald R. Donell, Vincent Curtis, George Molnar, William S. Gallagher, C. Robert Cattrell, Robert Morgan Jr., Bob Keller, C.J. Vincent, Jack Robinson, Ed Neese, Vincent Kirpsak, Carl Valdiserri, Romie Castelli, David Gould, Dr. Tom Beynon, William Kiefer, Robert Turner, John Gilmore, David Robinson, James Bruhn, Lisa Conti, Richard Riederer, John Larch, Earl Davis, Donald Muhlenthaler, Craig Costello, Russ Grimm, Frank Tluchowski, C. William D’Alesio, Edward Scram, Cathy Ferrari, Chris Backel, Sharon Bogarad, David Minda, Dan Greathouse, Brian James, Kristin Bowman Cross, Scott E. Winwood and John C. Greco.

And not to be overlooked is the late James Flenniken, who in the beginning was the chief executive of the Weirton Chamber of Commerce with additional responsibilities of the Weirton United Way.

Remember that old magazine and TV illustration with the legend, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”? That originated in Minneapolis for that city’s 1928-30 community fund. Cleveland, Ohio, organized the first Community Chest in 1913.

I always liked the words of President John F. Kennedy about giving to United Way: “It will make your community a happier place; it will make you a happier person, and in the real sense that your community is your country – it will make our country a finer place in which to live. United, there is little we cannot do.”

To help this year’s campaign, the United Way’s Dream Sports Package giveaway is being repeated by Tournament Director John Kirlangitis. A ticket costs $20. One winner will receive two tickets to each of these events: Pittsburgh Steelers football, Pittsburgh Penguins hockey, Pittsburgh Pirates baseball, West Virginia University football, University of Pittsburgh Panther football, and Ohio State University Buckeye football.

The drawing will take place at the United Way Golf Tournament June 10. Hope to see you there!

About Town

Slip these words into your vocabulary:

Entomology – the study of word origins.

Vortex – a whirling mass; think of a whirlpool.

Agoraphobia – abnormal fear of being in public places.

Argot – shop talk, slang.

Colloquium – a seminar with experts present.

Lugubrious – extreme sadness, mournful.

Inculpable – free from blame or guilt.

Ex post facto – the thing done afterward.

Extemporaneous – speaking without preparation.

Kudos to Jim Fenske of Weirton for excellence in competitive running. At age 81, Jim has competed in several 5K races in Florida and, in one race, finished third for oldest winner. He also won his division in a 5K in Toronto, Ohio. Recently, celebrating his birthday in Tampa, he finished third in his category. He was born in Waynesburg, Pa. Jim worked at Weirton Steel with 41 years in customer service, production and accounting. He retired 20 years ago. Jim likes to work out on the Panhandle Trail out Colliers Way. Keep hoofing it, Jim!

Milestones: According to my records, The Weirton Daily Times is 85-years-old this year; Williams Country Club is 83; Weir Memorial Pool is 79; Hancock County is 165; Fiesta Ware made its debut in 1936 – or 77 years ago – with five colors; ground-breaking ceremonies were held 57 years ago for the Mary Hayward Weir Public Library; West Virginia Northern Community College was established 41 years ago, as was the Weirton Baseball Association on Kings Creek; and West Virginia became the 35th state on June 20, 1863 – 150 years ago.

Who came up with that awful acronym, ROFB – rolling on the floor barfing?

The Weirton Rotary Club’s Kentucky Derby Party was outstanding. Many of the ladies got into the spirit of the event and wore dazzling outfits. Good food, good music, decadent desserts, and the excitement of the race made it a very enjoyable evening. The best part: Rotary’s charities are the benefactors.

A Weirton area resident, the gregarious Marian Grubor, is the new Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival president. This year’s fest is July 26-28 at the downtown Heritage Port in Wheeling. Proceeds will be devoted to college scholarships in communities on both sides of the river. With her warm personality, Grubor, who has served 29 years at West Virginia Northern Community College, is likely to supply the festival organization with a huge amount of new energy. She is Business and Technologies chair and culinary arts professor. Congratulations to Marian!

Some good words and thoughts from John Wesley, Anglican clergyman:

Do all the good you can,

In all the ways you can,

In all the places you can,

At all times you can,

To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can.

Something I never knew – each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades, King David; Hearts, Charlemagne; Clubs, Alexander the Great; and Diamonds, Julius Caesar.

On a list of witty sayings, there was this one: “A day without sunshine is like a day in Seattle.”

I’m not sure that is true. In the 50s, I spent two weeks in Seattle waiting for the ship to convey our infantry company to Korea. Although it was December, the weather was mild, it rained a lot, but the sun occasionally peeked through the mist. Otherwise, it was a beautiful area.

New acronym: BYOD – Bring Your Own (Mobile) Devices.