Celebrating 130 years

WINTERSVILLE – A presence in the community for 130 years, the Salvation Army of Jefferson County celebrated its history and honored individuals who have helped it achieve its mission of “doing the most good.”

The annual civic dinner held Monday evening at St. Florian Hall included the presentation of the prestigious Others Award to Toronto resident Dave Maple, a Jefferson County commissioner. It is the Salvation Army’s highest national civic award.

Capt. Steve Griffin, commanding officer of the local Salvation Army along with his wife, Capt. Dolly Griffin, presented the award, explaining it is named for William Booth, who started the Salvation Army in 1865. The award was named for a message Booth sent to individual Salvation Army corps during the early 1900s at Christmas. Because it was expensive to send messages via telegram, Booth kept his message to one word – “others,” which was meant to remind Salvation Army members of their mission of service to others.

Maple’s service has gravitated around 10 years of involvement with the Salvation Army’s annual community Thanksgiving dinner, helping to deliver meals to shut-ins throughout Jefferson County. It has become a family tradition that includes his wife, Tricia, and their children Taylor and Evan.

Maple thanked the Salvation Army board for the recognition and said he was “very humbled by it. I am blessed to have a wife who is really the champion in my family of being charitable, being a volunteer, and one thing when we moved back to the area from Akron after school, we knew we wanted to be committed to Jefferson County and our community, and hopefully we can continue that commitment for as long as we’re here. The other piece we thought was real important with our children was to bring them along with us and foster that same sort of behavior and commitment to their communities.”

Capt. Steve Griffin said 78 people helped with the Thanksgiving Day dinner this year and noted it not only takes a lot of volunteers to make that one event happen, it also takes many volunteers throughout the year to assist the Salvation Army in its many other endeavors.

The support of the community since the couple assumed their duties last June has been appreciated, he said.

“If it wasn’t for the commitment of the community, we wouldn’t be able to do nearly half of what we do,” Capt. Steve Griffin said. “It’s the volunteers and volunteer hours that keep us going.”

Jean White and Catherine “Kay” Bonham were singled out as volunteers of the year for 2013 with their awards presented by Capt. Dolly Griffin.

White has been a volunteer since 1987; Bonham since 1995. Both women are fixtures at Kroger – White at the Steubenville store and Bonham at the Wintersville location – where each has a quiet collection presence raising funds to benefit the Salvation Army programs.

Media awards were presented to the Herald-Star for publicity and to WTOV-TV for its Coats for Kids program.

Board President Carol Weber introduced advisory board members, and Mayor Domenick Mucci issued a proclamation in honor of Maple, naming today Commissioner Dave Maple Day in Steubenville. He also jokingly presented Maple with a bottle of water, labeled as having being produced by the Steubenville Water Department.

Guests speakers were Maj. Thomas Hinzman and his wife, Maj. Susan Hinzman of divisional headquarters in Cleveland. Thomas is divisional property and program secretary, while his wife is divisional women’s ministries secretary. Their shared presentation centered around the theme “Restored” and offered glimpses of “real stories of real people – one soul at a time” helped through the Salvation Army’s ministry and diverse programs.

“For 130 years now, the Salvation Army has been reaching out to those in need right here in our community,” they said, reaffirming the Salvation Army’s philosophy that “there is no reward equal to that of doing the most good to the most people in the most need.”