Calling all stars: Community Stars event planned for Sept. 25

LOOKING FOR STARS — Weirton Medical Center Drs. James Valuska Jr., left, and Collin Conway, right, meet with Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times, to discuss this year’s Community Stars event, which will be held Sept. 25 at Froehlich’s Classic Corner in downtown Steubenville. -- Amy Neeley

STEUBENVILLE — Do you know someone who is one of the region’s true unsung heroes?

They’re all around us — they might be someone who always is willing to help a neighbor with a chore, a person who’s always ready to help with area youth sports or with other programs designed to help young people or, maybe, a person who’s willing to use their time and talents to help improve his or her community through a beautification or building project.

They all have one trait in common — they always are among the first to step forward when help is needed and among the last to ever expect any recognition.

You call them friends and neighbors — at the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times, we call them Community Stars.

Nominations are still being accepted for the Class of 2019. The goal of the program, which was started by the newspapers in 1998, remains very simple: To honor those people in our region who go out of their way to help others, not because they seek recognition, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

“Those who have been selected Community Stars have come from all walks of life,” said Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the newspapers. “They are very special people, and they have touched the lives of everyone and everything in communities across the Tri-State Area.”

Weirton Medical Center is the presenting sponsor for the event.

“We are always very proud to partner with the Daily Times and Herald-Star for this yearly community event,” said Kelli McCoy, director of communications for WMC. “We have so many people doing wonderful things for others in the Ohio Valley, and it is important to honor those who are truly making a difference.”

Area residents play an important role in the program by nominating those who they think should be honored. After the Aug. 7 nomination deadline, a panel that includes staff members and editors of the newspapers will make the final selections of this year’s honorees.

As in the past, the criteria is simple: Those who are nominated must make their community a better place to live.

There are no age restrictions — past stars have ranged from their pre-teens into their 90s. All nominees must be residents of Jefferson or Harrison counties in Ohio, Brooke or Hancock counties in West Virginia or Washington County in Pennsylvania.

Profiles of those who are selected will appear in a special keepsake publication. Each honoree will receive a commemorative award and a gift card from M&M True Value Hardware, 4148 Sunset Blvd., Steubenville. The stars will be honored during a dinner scheduled for Sept. 25 at Froehlich’s Classic Corner, 501 Washington St., Steubenville.

“Community Stars has remained the region’s premiere recognition program by sticking to its simple formula,” Gallabrese explained. “Thanks to the continued support of businesses like Weirton Medical Center, M&M Hardware and Froehlich’s, it has been able to remain vital and grow.”

A nomination form appears on Page 7A of today’s newspaper. Nominations can be mailed to: Herald-Star and Weirton Daily Times, City Editor Mike McElwain, Attn: Community Stars, 401 Herald Square, Steubenville, OH 43952. Nominations also can be e-mailed to newsroom@heraldstaronline.com.