STEUBENVILLE - Rich Donnelly is a man who will shout it from the rooftops of the famous cities he visits that "Steubenville is a great town and I am proud it is my hometown."
Yet, the man who boasts about this area is humbled by his selection as the grand marshal for the city's annual Christmas parade, which is scheduled to be held at noon on Dec. 8.
The Eastern Gateway Community College Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade is sponsored by WTOV-TV, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and Steubenville Visitors Bureau.
"This is a humbling experience, but everyone knows I love my hometown," he said. "I always promote Steubenville and tell everyone it is a great place to live. I take any opportunity to tell people I meet about Steubenville."
Donnelly crisscrosses the nation with his work as a coach in professional baseball.
A 44-year baseball veteran, he is in his 28th year in the big leagues. Currently with the New York Mets, Donnelly is especially remembered for his years with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"I am living my childhood dream. I have been all over the nation working in baseball, even going to the World Series all because of my hometown," Donnelly said.
"The people in Steubenville my family, my teachers and my coaches taught me to value hard work. They taught me to be competitive and to respect authority. I was brought up as well as I could be. Cities are made by people, not buildings," according to Donnelly.
Donnelly said he is looking forward to being grand marshal, knowing that his family will be watching the parade.
He and his wife, Roberta, are the parents of eight children and have seven grandchildren.
Donnelly will lead the parade of more than 90 units including bands, floats and, of course, Santa Claus.
The parade wil travel along Fourth Street from North Street to South Street. It will be televised live on WTOV-TV and streamed on its website.