The three area residents who were recognized by the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission Wednesday all share a long and rich commitment to improving the lives of those who live in our region.
Wellsburg's John Chernenko, Toronto's Thomas Graham and Weirton's Victor Greco were honored during the organization's 14th-annual dinner, held this year at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville. They all, according to BHJ Executive Director John Brown, have a deep passion for the task at hand and are willing to commit an overwhelming amount of time.
Chernenko, who received the Bernie Kazienko Public Service Award, served in the Army during World War II, earning two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star and the Prisoner of War Medal for Heroic Conduct. He was elected three times to the state Senate and has been active in helping veterans. He's also been active in the Democratic Party, the Wellsburg 4th of July Committee and the Brooke County Committee on Aging.
Graham, who received the BHJ Special Recognition Award and who currently serves as a Jefferson County commissioner, has a long history of serving area organizations, including work as the recreation and service director for Toronto. He also has served on many boards, including the Salvation Army and Jefferson County Behaviorial Health. Graham is BHJ's chairman.
Greco, the winner of the Volunteer Award, has a long history of involvement with the Weirton Rotary Club. His efforts were instrumental in the establishment of the Hancock County Museum and the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center. He was named Weirton's Citizen of the Year in 1983. He and his late wife, Marjorie, have worked together on many causes.
This year's award recipients come from varied backgrounds and have many different interests, but their efforts make our communities stronger. Greco best summed up their work when he reminded those in attendance, "When you do for others, you do for yourself."
We agree, and join BHJ in congratulating this year's honorees.