WEIRTON - Family, friends and local residents came out to the Knights of Columbus on Sunday to honor those who have been chosen for induction into the Weirton Hall of Fame this year.
Seven individuals were selected to be part of the fourth group of honorees in the Weirton Hall of Fame, which included Duke Horstemeyer and Gus Monezis in the category of Public Service; Joseph Krivak and Robert Kelly in the category of Sports; Mary Ann Psaros in the category of Music and Fine Arts; Irene Kucan in the category of Business and Dolores Pickens in the category of Education.
According to the Weirton Hall of Fame Committee bylaws, all honoree nominations can be individuals with "outstanding" accomplishments, starting with the incorporation of the city of Weirton in 1947, and had to be a resident within the city limits for at least five years.
CLASS OF 2012 — Family, friends and local residents came out to the Knights of Columbus in Weirton on Sunday to honor those who have been chosen for induction into the Weirton Hall of Fame this year. Pictured in front from left are Bonniegail Coleman on behalf of Irene Kucan, Mary Ann Psaros and Debbie Parkins for Dolores Pickens. In back Gus Monezis, Bob Kelley, Duke Horstemeyer and Joe Krivak. -- Angelina Dickson
Mayor George Kondik welcomed everyone to the ceremony. He thanked the area residents for coming out and those who traveled to see the inductees welcomed.
"These people are so special," he said. "We are proud to honor them for their accomplishments as part of Weirton's history."
Frank Bohach, Hall of Fame committee chairman, gave introductions and biographical information before presenting the awards to those accepting. In addition, he asked that those in attendance have a moment of silence for Bob Rossell, one of the founding members of the city's Hall of Fame committee, who died this past year.
Mary Ann Psaros thanked several individuals, including family members, students and former co-workers. She said it was a great honor to her and perhaps the greatest honor she could receive. She shared stories of her time becoming a music teacher, establishing a choir for Weir Middle School and her time with the Weir Middle School Builders Club.
Duke Horstemeyer thanked the nominating committee for presenting him with the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"I would also like to thank my wife," he said. "She has been a great inspiration over the 52 years we've been married and I couldn't have done it without her."
He said it was a great thing for the city to sponsor and shared stories of volunteerism in a number of organizations.
Bob Kelley stepped up to be recognized and thanked his family and friends for joining him. He said being raised in Weirton, he learned the true meaning of loyalty and hard work, which is the true legacy of his family.
Kelley shared football stories from Cove Junior High all the way through his college days.
"When I went southwest to my junior college, it was a hard time because of segregation in those days. When I stepped out on the field, my new teammates thought they were going to have a surprise for me and show me how they played football there," he said. "Well, I had a surprise for them because I showed them how we played football in Weirton."
Kelley said being honored in the Weirton Hall of Fame was not only humbling, but filled him with a sense of pride to be part of Weirton's history for playing in the sports he loved to play.
Weirton Madonna's former football coach Joe Krivak said he was honored to be back in Weirton to receive such recognition.
He said throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to teach and coach many students at a time when their young minds need to be shaped to make good decisions that will affect the rest of their lives.
Krivak said it was one of the most productive things he's ever done and he is proud to be a part of it and a part of Weirton. He also extended his congratulations to his fellow inductees.
"This is a perfect example of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their service to others," he said.
Bonniegail Coleman accepted the award on behalf of her mother Irene Kucan. She said her mother was always involved in the community and was very tenacious. She said it was a special day for her and her family to see her mother recognized for all her accomplishments and the work that continues to be done in her name.
Lifelong resident Gus Monezis said he is proud to be from Weirton and thanked the committee for extending the honor to him.
He said his mother was a great inspiration to him and how he lives his life today.
"She always told me to help those who weren't as well off as we were and to wear my own shoes, meaning to be my own person and do the best you can with it," he said. "I've tried to follow in those footsteps and I am appreciative and humbled by this experience. Thank you."
Jerry Hamill, a former student of Dolores Pickens honored her with memories in the classroom and accepted the award on behalf of the Pickens family.
He shared stories of how she impacted her students and his life especially as he said she was a special person in his life.
"She was a great teacher and I'm glad to see her receive this honor," he said.
Committee Chairman Frank Bohach said the people accepted into the Hall of Fame are life changers. He said being a part of the committee who chooses the individuals is not only good for the city, but rewarding to those who have made an impact on the community and their families.
"We are proud to present to you the City of Weirton Hall of Fame Class of 2012," he said.
(Dickson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)