We still help each other

The changes our region has witnessed during the past several years have had an affect on just about every part of of our lives.

From how we earn our livings to where we shop and even how we help local charities, it seems that things are seldom the way we have always remembered them as being.

That’s something residents of the Tri-State Area were reminded of last month, when the Weirton and Jefferson County United Ways held their annual dinner report meetings.

“Weirton is a much different place than it was 10 years ago,” John Frankovitch, president of the Weirton United Way’s board, said while speaking April 20 at that group’s annual dinner. “It’s not that stodgy old steel town anymore.”

He was speaking to the volunteers and campaign officials who had gathered in the lobby at the Hancock Savings Bank branch on Three Springs Drive.

Their efforts, under the director of campaign chair Tom McDonald and Executive Director Linda Stear, helped the organization exceed it goal, a mark reached in February when it was announced the campaign total stood at $260,326.

“The United Way continues to work because of all of the people who contribute,” Frankovitch added.

Officials with the United Way of Jefferson County were equally thankful for the efforts of their supporters when they gathered April 7 at Hellenic Hall for their annual meeting.

“You and people like you have supported our mission with your time and talent and treasure,” said Kate Sedgmer, executive director. “You’ve allowed us to provide some of Jefferson County’s most vulnerable citizens with everything we take for granted every day, and that’s truly something we are so thankful for.”

Making that job more difficult will be the reality that the organization did not make its goal this year, falling short of the $455,000 target it had set.

That total would have allowed the United Way to have had an impact on 20,000 area residents, officials with the organization had said when the campaign started.

While the donations fell short, the total will still allow the United Way’s member agencies help more than 15,000 local residents.

Sedgmer and Anthony Mougianis, board president, said plans already are coming together for the next campaign. The efforts of current supporters will, as always, help to provide a solid foundation.

“There are a lot of warriors in this room, a lot of warriors who are going to fight for those less fortunate people,” Mougianis said.

Those thoughts were shared by Patrick Ford, who will chair the next Weirton United Way campaign and who told supporters that their efforts help to make our region a great place to live.

It was a reminder that even though the world around us continues to change, residents of our area are ready to help their friends and neighbors in times of need.

“We’re dedicated to repositioning ourselves as the leader here in Jefferson County in taking care of people, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you to do that,” Sedgmer explained.

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One of the most anticipated events tied to the Major League Baseball season is the annual Community Night at PNC Park that’s presented by the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.

This year’s event is scheduled for June 17 when the Pirates take on the Cubs in an 8:15 p.m. start. A ticket for the game, which includes bus transportation to and from the North Shore, costs just $75. That includes a seat in the all-you-can-eat section, a Jordy Mercer bobblehead, prizes between innings and more. If you want to provide your own transportation to the game, the cost is $65 per ticket. For information or to purchase tickets, contact Diana Brown at (740) 283-4711.

We’re able to continue to make Community Night an affordable evening thanks to the support of some great sponsors, including Trinity Health System, Eastern Gateway Community College, Hancock County Savings Bank, Hauser’s Furniture and EM-Media.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)

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