WEIRTON - The Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce honored its membership and those who continue to support its programs Tuesday during its 77th-annual membership meeting and banquet held at the Weirton Knights of Columbus.
"Because of your support, this chamber continues to move forward. Without it, none of this would be possible," Chamber President Brenda Mull said in welcoming those in attendance. "We may not be the biggest chamber, but our members are supportive beyond belief."
As part of the evening, the chamber also honored 16 area businesses who have not only remained in operation locally - some for more than 100 years - but have kept the business in the family for at least three generations.
BUSINESSES HONORED — During its 77th-annual membership meeting and banquet Tuesday, the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce honored 16 local businesses with third- and fourth-generation family ownership. -- Craig Howell
Mull noted many of the businesses were already around when the Weirton chamber was first chartered 77 years ago, and they have continued to grow and succeed, passing operations down from parent to child.
"It took blood, sweat and tears to be successful," she said, noting the chamber feels that dedication to the community and to family should be recognized. "These are family member businesses who continue to bring in the next generation."
Those member businesses recognized Tuesday included Assure America; Cattrell Companies Inc.; Charles Pappas Remodeling Co.; DeNoon Lumber; Frankovitch, Anetakis, Colantonio and Simon Law Offices; Ferguson Tire Services; Grae-Con Construction; Greco-Hertnick Funeral Home; Gus's Goodies; Iannetti's Garden Center; James White Construction; Mario's Italian Restaurant; Marsh Pipe and Supply Co.; Newbrough Photo; Serra Village Retirement Community; and Waldorf Distributing Co.
Mull discussed many of the chamber's programs and activities, noting the businesses to sponsor them in the last year.
Some of those programs include the annual Leadership Weirton and Youth Leadership Weirton programs, the Shop Around Your Hometown advertising campaign and the Wine and Dine at Williams, set this year for Sept. 21.
The High School Business Symposium is held ever year with 120 local high school students participating. Mull noted it receives support each year from Starvaggi Charities and a state grant arranged for by Del. Randy Swartzmiller, D-Hancock.
Another upcoming program is the annual Ladies Day at the Chamber, organized by the chamber's Special Projects Committee.
"This event is a sellout every, single year," she said.
The chamber also organizes the community's Christmas parade, which for several years has been sponsored by First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union, Tri-State Audiology, Weirton Medical Center and West Virginia Northern Community College.
Coupled with the parade, 2012 saw the introduction of a Christmas fireworks display, made possible through the support of Hancock County Savings Bank, Cattrell Companies, MedExpress and Marsh Pipe and Supply.
"It's great to be able to bring something new the community is going to love," Mull said.
Chamber Board Chair Doug Finton also expressed his appreciation to those who have contributed to the chamber's success in the last year, noting the dedication of the board, the staff and the member businesses.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)