Steubenville club makes check presentations

Janice Kiaski MEETING MOMENTS — The June meeting of the OFWC/Woman’s Club of Steubenville held at the YWCA of Steubenville included the presentation of donations to various organizations with Carlotta Jordan, second from right, club president, making the monetary presentations to, from left, Tameka Ely, program director for Refuge for Women; Judy Brancazio, president of the Jefferson County Historical Association; and Sophie Spencer, executive director of the YWCA. A donation also was to be made to the Steubenville Special Olympics.

STEUBENVILLE — The presentation of checks, a memorial service and the introduction of a new face at Historic Fort Steuben were on the agenda June 3 when the OFWC/Woman’s Club of Steubenville ended it 2018-19 club season.

Carlotta Jordan, president, presided at the business meeting and luncheon held at the YWCA of Steubenville where checks were presented to several organizations, including Refuge for Women, formerly Refuge 1:99, represented by Tameka Ely, program director; the Jefferson County Historical Association, represented by Judy Brancazio, president; and the YWCA of Steubenville, represented by Sophie Spencer, executive director.

Another recipient is the Steubenville Special Olympics.

The meeting also included a memorial ceremony in remembrance of club member Dolores Dooley, who died Aug. 23, 2018. Dooley served as club president from 1996-98 and in other capacities. The ceremony was conducted by Jordan with assistance from Brancazio, who lit a candle in Dooley’s memory. A flower placed in a vase signified her passing and contributions to the club.

During a time of reports, Margaret Brown, education chairman, updated club members on the achievements of its two 2019 scholarship recipients, Rebecca Bodo and Colin Brown.

Kate Sedgmer, the club’s vice president and program chairman, announced there would be a program committee meeting on June 26 at the YWCA, beginning at 1:30 p.m. to plan programs for the 2019-20 club year. She invited anyone interested in attending or submitting suggestions to do so. The club’s first meeting of the new season will be held Sept. 5.

Sedgmer also introduced the guest speakers for the June meeting — Judy Bratten, who is leaving the executive director’s position at Historic Fort Steuben at the end of the year but moving into a part-time role come 2020, and her successor, Weirton native Paul Zuros, the new director of operations.

Bratten noted there was “a great turnout” for Ohio Valley Frontier Days held June 1 and 2 and provided a rundown of events, including the Thursday night concert schedule at the fort’s Berkman Ampitheater.

“I have to say we’re very proud,” Bratten said. “When we started the concert series it was something new and very popular, and they say that imitation is the best form of flattery so all the communities nearby started copying it, but we all work together so we’re not on the same night. Almost every night you can find a concert in the valley,” she said.

Bratten noted the First Fridays on Fourth are under way and complimented the Harmonium Project for its involvement in putting such events together.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together, and I know all the shops downtown appreciate it also,” she said.

Flyers and brochures distributed to club members detailed the Steubenville Dean Martin Hometown Celebration coming up June 13-15 but also the Holy Trinity Greek Festival.

“The Greeks as always have incredible food and music, and it’s like a giant family reunion so I encourage people to get lunch or dinner from the Greek festival,” she said.

On June 15, she said, the Dean Martin Hometown Celebration at the Visitor Center and Fort Steuben Park will feature family-friendly events — a classic car cruise-in, trolly rides, games and rides for children and music events that evening from Flashback, Joe Scalissi in a Dean Martin tribute and Beatlemania Magic.

The First Friday in July — July 5 — will come on the heels of July 4, a concert night at the fort featuring numerous acts, including the Tri-State Community Band and the Ron Retzer Trio, topped off by a fireworks display.

“Paul has been following me around since May 1, and I think he has lost some weight,” Bratten joked. “He is going to be a great assest to the fort and community.

Before taking the fort position, Zuros had been serving as the operations and communications manager of the West Virginia Humanities Council, the state’s affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in public relations from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in public history with a concentration on museum studies from Duquesne University.

“When the position opened here, I was very eager to get back here,” he said. Zuros and his wife have three boys — the oldest is 5 and then 3-year-old twins. “We are expecting another child, hopefully a girl,” he quipped.

“We’re happy to be back and close to family, and I feel so blessed and honored that I get to do what I love to do in the area that I love to do it, so I’m just thrilled,” Zuros told the audience.