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Olczyk to provide inspirational story

There are many words residents from all points of the Tri-State Area have used to describe the Herald-Star Speaker Series Presented by Eastern Gateway Community College.

Some say the presentations are thought-provoking. Others find them to be an enjoyable evening. Still others say they have been entertaining. And just about everyone has found them to be educational.

That’s because we have worked hard to bring top-quality speakers to town since the series started on Nov. 14, 2012, when former Secret Service agent Clint Hill and his co-author, Lisa McCubbin, delivered the first presentation.

Eddie Olczyk will deliver the next presentation in the series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Steubenville High School auditorum. Olczyk played 16 years in the National Hockey League and became a premiere commentator for hockey and thoroughbred horse racing. He also is a survivor of Stage 3 colon cancer. His story is sure to serve as an inspiration.

Olczyk will be adding his name to a list that began with Hill and McCubbin. Since then, the series has delivered men and women who have spoken on a wide range of topics. Antonio and Jonna Mendez, for instance, detailed their careers as masters of disguise with the CIA, work that led to the rescue of hostages from Iran that was dramatized in the film “Argo.” Richard Phillips offered details of his harrowing capture at sea by Somali pirates and rescue by Navy SEALs, a story that was dramatized in the film “Captain Phillips.” Retired Air Force Col. Mark Tillman told what it was like to be in command of Air Force One on Sept. 11, 2001, when he was charged with protecting President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Rebekah Gregory, meanwhile, described what it was like to be severely injured in the Boston Marathon bombings and detailed the strength and resilience needed to battle back, and Mark “Oz” Geist talked about fighting for survival during the attacks on Benghazi. Jeanine Pirro, the legal expert and political commentator, brought her no-holds-barred view of the world to town. Michael Hayden brought a perspective that only can come from the former head of national intelligence. John Quinones made us think about what we would do and Matthew Charles reminded us about the importance of getting a second chance.

Joining EGCC, the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times as event sponsors are Franciscan University of Steubenville, WVU Medicine — Wheeling Hospital; WesBanco; Dan Stephens State Farm; the Wheeling Nailers; the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce; Froehlich’s Classic Corner; WTRF-TV; Steel Valley Regional Transit Authority; and Steubenville High School.

General admission tickets remain available at a cost of $25. Call (740) 283-4711 for details.

We welcome Olczyk to town and thank everyone involved for ensuring that our local speaker series can continue. Presentations like this help to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community.

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