Weirton Heights Rotary marks charter

WEIRTON – After 21 years, the Rotary Club of Weirton Heights has collected a great deal of history serving the Weirton community.

Members gathered at Williams Country Club Wednesday to celebrate that history, its past and present members and the club’s service since it formed in March 1993.

Club President Jennifer Anderson, who will complete her term at the end of June, thanked the club’s members for all of their work in organizing events, fundraisers, weekly meetings and other activities.

“I want to thank them all,” Anderson said. “This is an awesome club to belong to.”

Anderson also took time to note four of the club’s charter members in attendance: Lisa Conti, John Greco, Bill D’Alesio and Donna Fante.

D’Alesio explained some of the club’s history, noting it was created when the Rotary District felt the local Rotary Club of Weirton had gotten too large.

“There were 80-some members,” he explained, adding David Riggleman was the Weirton Heights club’s first president.

Dr. J.K. Luthra served as the master of ceremonies for the night, paying tribute to Anderson’s service and reciting a top 10 list of reasons to serve as president of the Rotary Club of Weirton Heights.

Among the reasons Luthra noted, getting to plan Mardi Gras, “the best party in town,” stress is good for the body, you get a taste of India without having to travel and it forces you to start going to the gym.

“You’re the one who has to carry that heavy gavel,” Luthra joked.

The evening also struck a somber tone with members paying tribute to Al Lauttamus, a member of the club who died earlier this year.

“Al was so active and committed to the Weirton community and to this club,” Conti said.

In his memory, Lauttamus’ son, Paul, also a member of the club, was named a multiple-time Paul Harris Fellow, presented with his new pin by Rotarian and past District Governor Ed Powell.

In expressing his appreciation, Paul Lauttamus noted his father brought Powell into the club and Powell brought him in. He said his father was proud to be a part of the club and to be a Paul Harris Fellow.

“My dad always wore his pin with pride,” he said.

The evening concluded with several games and a prize drawing.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)