Two more named to Weirton Hall of Fame

WEIRTON – A former member of City Council and a longtime local sports volunteer will be among this year’s inductees into the Weirton Hall of Fame.

Mary “Molly” Binkoski Porter, who has been chosen in the category of public service, and George Canei, this year’s representative in the sports category, will be among those inducted into the hall during a dinner set for 2 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Weirton Knights of Columbus Hall.

Joining them as members of the Class of 2013 will be Rick Witkowski (music and fine arts) , Millie Gerbo (education), Emily Horvat (professionals), Tony Sellitti (business and industry) and John B. Sorrenti (public service).

Porter, who was born and raised in Weirton, dedicated herself to serving her community. In the same way she gave back to her family and her church, she felt it her duty to inspire a sense of responsibility to serve the City of Weirton, hall officials explained.

Porter served on the National Democratic Committee, who not only registering voters but getting local students active in the voting process to help them understand the role of government.

In 1975, Porter made history by being elected Weirton’s first woman councilperson. She represented Ward 6 during two consecutive terms from 1975 to 1983. Earning recognition from her fellow council members and the mayor as a hard worker, she never let her gender keep her on the sidelines, whether it be working for the installation of guardrails for Greenbrier Road, widening and repaving South 11th Street or cleaning up an alley.

Porter continued to pursuing her political ambitions by running for mayor and the state Senate. Although she was unsuccessful in obtaining either office, she remained involved in the community and church by serving as president of Christian Mothers, Catholic Daughters and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and Three Score. She helped Weirton residents register to vote and serve those most in need throughout the community.

Canei was active with many sports programs volunteering his time as a coach, umpire, worker and mentor to local youth. He was involved in the Weirton Baseball Association, Weirton Termites Basketball Association, served as a registered umpire in the Ohio Valley and recapped weekly, local sporting events on WEIR-AM.

As a coach, Canei could be found working with players at area batting cages.

Canei took on improvement projects for the baseball complex on Kings Creek Road, including raising funds to help pay for lights at the field, maintenance and equipment. He also did much of the maintenance throughout the years.

“He never did anything to get credit for himself and believed very much in teamwork,” said his sister, Janet Stagani.

Canei’s dedication to baseball was only matched by his love for basketball. He spent countless hours coaching and raising money for the Weirton Termite Basketball Association as well.

On Saturday mornings, Canei would recap the week’s local football and basketball games on WEIR.

In addition to his coaching and volunteering, Canei was an active member of the Dapper Dan of the Upper Ohio Valley for many years, serving as the vice president for several years.

The fifth-annual Weirton Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set to take place at 2 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the Knights of Columbus.

Tickets for the fifth-annual induction ceremony are available until July 31 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 not be available at the door. The event is open to the public.