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Community Stars dinner being planned

DINNER APPROACHES — Janice Kiaski, community editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times, discusses plans for this year’s Community Stars dinner with Greg Froehlich of Froehlich’s Classic Corner, left, and Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the newspapers. This year’s dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at Froehlich’s. -- Andrew Grimm

STEUBENVILLE — Greg Froehlich knows a thing or two about what it takes to make an event special.

The owner of Froehlich’s Classic Corner at the intersection of Fifth and Washington Streets has seen countless class reunions, wedding receptions, club meetings and small group gatherings through the years.

He’s preparing to host another one Thursday, when the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times recognize this year’s Community Stars.

“I think it’s a fabulous idea,” Froehlich said of the annual program which has been honoring the region’s unsung heroes since 1998. “I have always followed it, and I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve the dinner on several occasions.”

Those who will be honored when the dinner begins at 6 p.m. were nominated by members of the community and chosen by a panel of editors and writers at the newspapers. The criteria behind the selections was simple — they are the residents of the Tri-State Area who do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do.

Main Street Bank is the presenting sponsor, with special support being provided by M&M Hardware. Each of the honorees will receive an award, a gift certificate from M&M Hardware and the chance to say a few words. As a bonus, Scott Campbell, owner of M&M Hardware, will make a donation in the name of each honoree to a charity of his or her choice.

Profiles of each of this year’s stars will be included in a commemorative section that will be included with Thursday’s papers.

This year’s stars include Steve Forte of Wintersville, Jon Greiner of Toronto, Dennis Jones of Weirton, Flora VerStraten-Merrin of Richmond, Kathleen Cass Michael of Brilliant, Holly Pate of Steubenville, Mattie Patterson of Steubenville, Chuck Svokas of Weirton, Bobby Westfall of Mingo Junction and Brian Wilson of Steubenville.

Their names will be added to the more than 230 stars who have been honored through the program.

Tickets for the dinner are available at a cost of $20 for adults and $15 for children under the age of 10. Tickets also can be purchased by visiting heraldstaronline.com or weirtondailytimes.com and clicking on the button in the right column. If you are planning to attend and have not yet purchased your tickets, you are running short on time — the deadline to make a reservation is Monday.

Froehlich is among the area residents who have participated in the process in the past.

“I actually nominated a person a few years ago, and they were among those who were chosen to receive an award,” he said. “It’s a great service to our community.”

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