Bash remembers Jackson

While summer does not officially begin until 12:24 a.m. Wednesday, the first day of astronomical summer, many of us prefer to say the season starts on June 1, or the first day of meteorological summer.

No matter what side you fall on, our area’s activities really start to heat up in the late spring-early summer period of each year.

Just look at the last couple of weeks, for example. Ohio Valley Frontier Days came to life at Historic Fort Steuben on the weekend of June 3-4. And, we have just completed the city’s biggest week of events of the year, a time that featured the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s 31st-annual Greek Food Festival, the Dean Martin Festival and Steubenville’s Hometown Celebration.

There was another event during that period that attracted some attention on this year’s calendar — the annual Burger Bash that is presented by the Ambassador Club of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. This year’s event, which was held June 6, had a new location — the green space in front of the Inn at Franciscan Square — and proceeds went to a new cause — the Anita Jackson Community Service Scholarship.

That money will annually back two scholarships for students who will be graduating from a Jefferson County high school and continuing their education at either the Franciscan University of Steubenville or Eastern Gateway Community College. This year’s recipients were Gabrielle Marker, a graduate of Buckeye Local High School, and Bryce Throckmorton, a graduate of Indian Creek High School.

It’s fitting that a scholarship has been established in the memory of Jackson. A lifelong resident of Adena, she worked for more than 41 years at the Franciscan University of Steubenville before she died on Sept. 22 at the age of 77.

Her life was dedicated to helping others, and she volunteered with countless organizations around our area, whether it was helping to organize the annual day of prayer to working with the Ohio Valley Music Guild to helping with the fundraising campaigns of the United Way of Jefferson County.

She also was an original member of the Ambassador Club, which was formed in the early 1990s to help support the activities of the chamber. Its big fundraising event is the Burger Bash, and — you guessed it — Jackson played a big role in helping the event get started.

“I think it was a nice tribute,” said Nicole Adamski of the Inn at Franciscan Square, who chaired the event. “We had a nice turnout, the weather turned out to be nice and we raised money for the Anita Jackson Community Service Scholarship.”

Helping Adamski put the event on was a committee that included Chris Orris of Valley Hospice, president of the ambassadors.

“Thanks to the passion of Nicole and Chris, we not only had a fun evening, but we honored Anita’s memory and her passion for education and community service,” said Tricia Maple-Damewood, chamber president. “That means a lot to the chamber and our ongoing efforts to provide our members with events that are different from the usual business function.”

Chamber officials estimate about 125 people attended the seventh edition of the Burger Bash. It offered a chance to relax outdoors with friends, enjoy music and food in a casual atmosphere and provide some help to area residents.

It was just the kind of evening that Jackson was fond of.

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