Sorrenti, Sellitti named to Weirton HOF

WEIRTON – John B. Sorrenti and Tony P. Sellitti have been selected as members of the Class of 2013 of the Weirton Hall of Fame.

They will be among those inducted into the hall during a dinner set for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Knights of Columbus.

Sorrenti, being honored in the category of public service, moved to Weirton from Morgantown in 1938 to play baseball in the Weirton Steel League and work in the mason gang. Weirton became his home and ultimately his passion. The 60 years he lived in the city were filled with community service, new ideas and helping others.

Among some of his accomplishments were establishing and serving in various positions for the Steel Works Employees Federal Credit Union in 1939; Troop 134 of the Boy Scouts of America in 1941; City of Weirton Fireman’s Civil Service Board in 1947; Weirton Community Concert Association in 1947; Weirton High School Key Club Adviser in 1948; Weirton Auto Club in 1949; charter member of the Monsignor D.P. Murphy Knights of Columbus Council 3734 in 1953; Weirtonian Lodge No. 183, I.S.D.A. in 1954; Starvaggi Industries Inc. 25-Year Club in 1961; founded the Weirton Kiwanis Club Radio Auction in 1962; Greater Weirton Junior Achievement Inc. in 1964; adviser for the Madonna High School Key Club in 1978; adviser for the Weirton Junior High Builders Club in 1984; and Weirton Kiwanianne Club in 1986.

Sorrenti also served on the original planning committees for the construction and dedication of the Salvation Army Citadel, the Hancock County Children’s Home and the Starvaggi Memorial Pool and Park.

Some of the other organization in which Sorrenti was a member include Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus; Weirton United Way planning committee; Dapper Dan board of directors; Weirton Hospital Committee; Friends of West Virginia Northern Community College; Fraternal Order of Police Associates; Loyal Order of Moose; St. Joseph Holy Name Society; Weir High and Madonna boosters Clubs; national and local AARP; and Four Seasons Senior Citizens.

Among the honors he earned were the annual citation by the U.S. Treasury Department during World War II for achieving 100 percent participation by Starvaggi Co. employees in purchasing U.S. Savings Bonds; Good Neighbor Award for Outstanding Public Service by the Greater Weirton Area Service Council in 1952; Distinguished Civic Service Award by Weirtonian Lodge No. 183 I.S.D.A. in 1965; Distinguished Service Citation from the Hancock County Historical Society in 1968; Distinguished Service Award by Kiwanis International in 1972; Outstanding Public Service by the City of Weirton in 1963, 1970, 1974 and 1978; Commemorative Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign War in 1976; commissioned as an Ambassador of Good Will by the State of West Virginia in 1978; Civic Service Award from the Weirton Junior Women’s Club; appointed life member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board; Weirton Board of Parks and received a Special Leadership Award from then-Gov. John D. Rockefeller III in 1980; Greater Weirton Area’s Citizen of the Year in 1981; Key Club District Charles McAllister Award in 1984 and Dapper Dan’s McKelvey Award for Outstanding Community Service in 1987.

Sellitti will be honored in the category of business and industry.

A Weirton native, Sellittti developed two of Weirton’s neighborhoods – Country Club Estates and Riverview Estates – and helped develop and build more than 600 homes in Weirton and the surrounding area.

Sellitti had many ideas for the Weirton area and his accomplishments include building more than 200 apartments in Weirton and Steubenville; the Student Union Center at Franciscan University of Steubenville; the Immaculate Conception Church in New Cumberland; Sacred Heart of Mary Parish Convent; three city fire stations; several post offices in the eastern United States; and Lynwood Park Swim Club. He helped to improve the soccer field at Sacred Heart of Mary School.

Among his awards were the Art Workshop and Swaney Gallery Architectural Recognition Award from the National Home Builders Association for contributing to the knowledge and enlightenment of the Housing Industry Progress and Trends. He also received The Weirton Daily Times Reader’s Choice Award in 1994 and 1996 for Best Home Builder in Weirton.

Other inductees for 2013 include Rick Witkowski (music and fine arts), Millie Gerbo (education), Emily Horvat (professionals), Mary “Molly” Binkowski Porter (public service) and George Canei (sports.)

Tickets for the fifth-annual induction ceremony are available through Wednesday for $25 each at the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, Marsh’s Pipe and Supply, R.E. Saxon Jeweler and the Weirton Municipal Building. Approximately 250 tickets are being sold, and none will be available at the door. The event is open to the public.