Wellsburg chamber slated to hand out honors

CITIZEN NOMINEES — The Wellsburg Chamber of Commerce nominated three local citizens for honors for their contributions to the community over the years. Shown are, from left: Wellsburg Chamber President Luke DiSerio; Wellsburg Chamber Vice President Nanci Walker; nominee Rob Morris; nominee Fred Marino; nominee Norman Schwertfeger; Wellsburg Chamber member Mary Blum; and Wellsburg Chamber Coordinator Jacie Ridgely.

WELLSBURG — Members of the Wellsburg Chamber of Commerce are inviting the community to join them in a celebration of community service at the annual dinner event for April 6 at the Wellsburg Fire Hall.

The event will include entertainment by Hermie & Harry’s Dueling Pianos and the announcement of the chamber’s citizen and business of the year.

Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased by calling the chamber at 304-479-2115. The event will begin at 5 p.m.

Special guests will include the following citizen nominees for this year’s honor:

≤ Robert Morris is a Beech Bottom native but currently lives in Wellsburg with his wife Marcie and their two children: Avery and Liam.

Morris is the son of Gary A. Morris Sr. and the late Jackie Morris, and he has one a brother, Gary Morris Jr., and his wife, Andrea, of Wellsburg.

Morris and his family are active members of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. Morris graduated from Brooke High School in 1999 and then attended West Liberty State College.

Morris graduated in 2004 earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from WLSC. He then earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mortuary Science in 2006 from Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado.

Morris started his employment at Reasner Funeral Home in 2000. He currently is the owner and director of Reasner Funeral Home.

Morris’ community involvement consists of being a former coach and volunteer for the Brooke County Track Club. He is a current coach for the Brooke County Soccer League, and a volunteer coach and corporate sponsor of the Wellsburg Baseball Association.

Morris is a sponsor for the Brooke County Special Olympics where he helps organize a team to play in their annual Special Olympics basketball game.

He is serving his tenth year as a member of the Wellsburg Lions Club, where he served as the club secretary for five years. He is currently on the Snow Cone committee and served as chair for four years, and he also volunteers for their Annual Coat Drive.

In 2017, he partnered up with the Wellsburg Middle School LEO Club and Senator Ryan Weld to collect articles and then distributed 150 care packages to our troops deployed in the Middle East. He is a corporate sponsor for the Brooke County Veteran’s Memorial Foundation, a member of the Wellsburg Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the City of Wellsburg Urban Renewal Authority for six years where he served as secretary.

Morris is a Partner in Education with the Brooke County Schools, a corporate sponsor for the Wellsburg Fourth of July festivities, Follansbee Community Days, and Brooke County Relay for Life.

Morris organizes a community clean-up event that is held the week before the July 4 to help beautify the city for the weekly festivities. In 2017, his clean-up efforts earned him the West Virginia Make it Shine Award from the City of Wellsburg, and the Partnerships for Positive Change in Brooke County.

Through Reasner Funeral Home, he annually awards one or two $500 scholarships to assist Brooke High School seniors looking to further their education.

Morris believes that we all have the ability to help one another.

“We are all honored to give back to the community in the way we do,” said Morris. “If everyone does a little bit, it goes a long way.”

– Fred Marino is a lifelong resident of Wellsburg and the owner of Al’s Auto Service in which he took over for his father in 2007.

Marino donates his time and service with his equipment to help many of the local public service organizations such as the state and county police stations, fire stations, ambulance services and school bus transportation.

In 2018, Marino donated his artistic skills for the city of Wellsburg in painting the Christmas sleigh displayed in town square during the Christmas season in which many patrons visit to take family pictures.

Also, Marino organizes and runs the Oil Can Derby held yearly during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The derby has grown every year, and Marino donates his time to paint the cars for the kids with their designed colors and theme in hopes of giving the kids an ever greater lifelong memory.

Marino’s contributions to the city of Wellsburg has been constant throughout the years, and he continues to help the city wherever there is a need.

“I’m grateful for this honor,” said Marino.

– Norm Schwertfeger is an associate professor and regional coordinator in the Northern Panhandle for WVU Extension.

Schwertfeger is a lifelong resident of Brooke County. He is married to Jeannie (Moninger) Schwertfeger and they have three sons: Jacob, Zachary, and Cody.

Schwertfeger established the Brooke Opportunity Center, Shiloh Apartments among other community programs. He is a former Brooke County commissioner and currently works in Extension providing community and economic development resources.

Schwertfeger has secured in excess of $14 million in grants and funding for local projects and currently serves as president of the Brooke County Committee on Aging, a member of the Brooke County Economic Development Authority and coordinates a three-state regional tourism group.

“I’m just honored to be in such good company,” said Schwertfeger. “Rob and Fred are excellent examples of character and progress leaders, so I’m happy to be in that consideration.”

In addition, local businesses also will be honored at the April 6 dinner. Nominees for the business category include: Family Roots Farm, Drovers Inn and Waldorf Distributing.

Family Roots Farm has been in business for seven years.

“We are happy to receive a nomination,” said co-owner Brittany Hervey-Farris.

Drovers Inn has been in business for around 33 years, and Waldorf Distributing for around 81 years.

“We are a third generation business,” said Mary-Margaret Rosso on behalf of her husband, Jim, and mother-in-law Cheryl Rosso. “We are very happy for being first-time nominees.”


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