Big Red begins season with annual dinner

STEUBENVILLE – Lewis Giammarco, a longtime supporter of Big Red athletics, was the initial person honored by the school’s boosters when the Appreciation and Football Kickoff Dinner began in 1997.

During the 17th-annual event, held Sunday at Pugliese West Elementary School, Giammarco was honored again.

The club announced that going forward, its annual event will be known as the Lewis Giammarco Memorial Big Red Boosters Club Kickoff Dinner. Pete Barren, who served as master of ceremonies for the event along with Rich Delatore, made the announcement during a special presentation to Giammarco’s son, Gary, who resides in Stark County.

“It certainly is a wonderful way for the club to salute his many contributions to Big Red,” Barren said.

Giammarco’s son has followed in his father’s footsteps when it comes to giving back to his community. Late last year, Gary was honored by the mayor of North Canton for his work with the Hoover Community Fields Complex and making the North Canton Little League into an organization known throughout the country.

Seven individuals (five living and two deceased) were honored by the club Sunday.

Herb Crossland, a member of the club’s board of directors, noted those honored were selected for their work with the boosters directly or with the Big Red athletic program. Award candidates are nominated by club members before the entire club casts votes for the winners.

Those recognized Sunday include:

Charles Hopkins (deceased)

Reynard Horston

Willie Simmons

Paul Firm (deceased)

Libby Wiznieski

Joe Elias

Rich Donnelly

Coach Reno Saccoccia introduced the 14 seniors who will wear the crimson and the black this season. Meanwhile, cheering adviser Kelly Lancia introduced her five seniors.