JCTA celebrates 50th anniversary

Top honors for Phil Lawrence, Dan Meeker

From left, Matt DeTemple, Tom Willsey, Phil Lawrence, Dan Meeker and Scott Fabian -- Contributed

MINGO JUNCTION — This year marked the 50th anniversary for the Jefferson County Township Association’s Christmas banquet and awards dinner held Dec. 2 at the Mingo Knights of Columbus Hall.

Three trustees who served in 1967 were invited to attend as honored guests for the evening. They were Billy Hupp, Island Creek Township and a past JCTA president; Tom Grimm, Salem Township; and Fred Ramsey, Ross Township.

The JCTA event has evolved from a small gathering meeting in school cafeterias and church basements to providing the opportunity for 255 trustees from Jefferson and six surrounding counties, local/state elected officials and business representatives to network, share information and discuss current issues and opportunities facing townships in the 21st century.

The tradition of recognizing outstanding service continued this year when the following received the highest honors: Dan Meeker, Warren Township, Township Official of the Year, and Phil Lawrence, Jefferson County surveyor, Hometown Leadership Award.

Both received certificates of recognition from U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta. In addition, Dave Merritt, trustee for Kirkland Township, Belmont County, was recognized by the Belmont County Township Association for his 40 years of service as a trustee.

Tom Willsey, in his last year as Ohio Township Association board president, also was recognized for his years of service to the association.

Scott Fabian served as master of ceremony and extended the welcome at the beginning of the event. The Rev. Mike Bongart gave the invocation and the benediction.

John Corrigan, Jefferson County clerk of courts and former mayor of Mingo Junction, welcomed all to the JCTA annual event on behalf of Mingo residents. Also offering remarks were Dawn Baker, regional representative for Johnson; state Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire; state Sen. Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction; Willsey, OTA president; and keynote speaker Matt DeTemple, OTA executive director.

Door prizes, a 50/50 drawing and a $1,500 cash drawing closed out the evening.