EAST LIVERPOOL - Two former standout athletes, a top banker and the head of a global lecture agency are among those who will be honored at this year's Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame induction banquet set for June 16 at the St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.
The Class of 2014 inductees include:
- East Liverpool native Bernie Allen, an accomplished athlete at East Liverpool High School and Purdue University, who played Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins, Washington Senators, New York Yankees and Montreal Expos. A second baseman for most of his career, he played more than 900 games at the position. In 1962, he was selected to the Topps All-Star Rookie Roster.
- Famed wrestling coach and Olympian Bobby Douglas, a native of Bridgeport. As a wrestler he captured five national championships and two U.S. Olympic Trial titles, finishing fourth as a featherweight in the 1968 Tokyo Games and taking silver and bronze medals and a fourth place in World Championships. He also coached several U.S. Olympic teams and won an NCAA team national title while coaching at Arizona State.
The 2014 Distinguished American Award is to be presented to Harry Rhoads, an original founding partner of the Washington Speakers Bureau, a leader in the lecture circuit industry.
This year's Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Cleveland native Jim Rohr, chairman of PNC Financial Services Group and former CEO. His performance as chairman and CEO has earned him acclaim in the industry, including the title of 2007 American Banker's Banker of the Year.
The "Do Right" Award, which recognizes a person or organization for "exemplary conduct," will be announced at a later date.
Pre-sale orders for tickets to the induction banquet, which serves as the hall's primary fundraiser, were taken in August. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was announced as the guest speaker, and the maximum ticket sale level was reached within a matter of days, causing pre-sales to be quickly suspended.
Those who pre-ordered tickets, and sponsors of the annual event, are now in the process of redeeming their tickets.
Those on the waiting list will be contacted at a later date if any tickets become available.
The hall of fame's education banquet honoring students receiving the Life Improvement Scholarship and teachers receiving the I Believe in YOUth grants will be held as a brunch on June 16 at the East Liverpool Motor Lodge. In addition to a presentation by Coach Holtz, those at the education event will hear from Jim Connelly, who was inducted in 2002 as a Hall of Fame Distinguished American and now serves on the hall's board of directors.
The hall of fame, which opened in 1998 in the former Bank One building on east Fifth Street, is celebrating its 16th year as a museum for "sports, history, motivation and more." Since its inception, more than $500,000 has been distributed to vocational students and educators in the Upper Ohio Valley.
The idea originally was conceived as a facility to celebrate the achievements of East Liverpool's favorite son, legendary football coach Lou Holtz. When approached, Holtz initially declined and later relented, providing that the concept be expanded to also recognize residents and natives of the Upper Ohio Valley in all fields of endeavor who serve as inspirations for the area's young people. Holtz also expressed his desire for the hall to help preserve the rich cultural heritage of the communities that make up the valley.
The hall of fame is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. There is no admission fee; however, donations are welcome. Go to the web site at www.louholtzhalloffame.com or call (330) 386-5443.