Trying to get caught up

Getting caught up:

¯ When you consider organizations and activities that touch the lives of thousands of people who live in our region, the United Way certainly comes to mind.

This year’s campaigns for all of the United Ways that serve our area — the United Way of Jefferson County, the Weirton United Way and the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley — will be getting under way during the next several weeks. And, while each will set a different fundraising goal, they all will be working to improve our communities.

The United Way of Jefferson County will open its 2020 campaign Aug. 29 when it holds its Anthony Mougianis Day of Action at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center on Market Street in Steubenville. According to the United Way, it’s a day set aside each year when volunteers gather for breakfast, hear a short presentation and then spread out to all parts of the county to help local nonprofit agencies complete projects they might not be able to finish on their own.

In the past, the day has included numerous projects, such as picking up litter along downtown streets, doing painting or landscaping at an agency’s office and even helping to put together play equipment at a daycare center.

Tyra and Tom Timmons, who have a long track record of community involvement, are returning to chair the campaign, and Ted Gorman, principal at Steubenville High School, will serve as board chair.

They, along with Kate Sedgmer, the executive director, will help to direct the campaign.

Work done and money raised by the United Way remain important — last year member agencies helped 20,000 people in Jefferson County. That’s nearly a third of the county’s population, Sedgmer explained during May’s annual recognition dinner.

If you want to participate in the day of action or just be on hand as the campaign gets under way, you can contact the United Way office at (740) 284-9000 or visit unitedway-jc.org/dayofaction.


¯ It won’t be too long before area residents will get the chance to see the newest mural in downtown Steubenville.

This one will remember the accomplishments of Steubenville natives Jerome and John “Ellis” Edwards. They graduated from Steubenville High School, studied at West Virginia State College and went on to become members of the Tuskegee Airmen, the highly decorated group of African-American fighter and bomber pilots who fought during World War II.

While Jerome was killed in a plane crash, John earned a Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medals with Oak Leaf Clusters and shared in a Presidential Unit citation that was awarded to the 332nd Fight Group.

The mural, which is being painted on the side of the old Elks Lodge, which sits on Washington Street between Fourth and Fifth streets, will face Fourth Street. It will be the work of Claude Ruston “Rusty” Baker.

As Patricia Fletcher, who is chairing the committee that is raising money for the project, explained, the mural will help to show the important role Steubenville played in World War II.

It’s a fitting way to remember the sacrifices made by the Edwards brothers and the other members of the Red Tail Squadron in service to their country.

Fletcher, who is being assisted by Jim Baber, said last week that about $10,000 of the $20,000 needed to pay for the mural has been raised. She said that anyone interested in making a donation to the project can contact the Visitor Center at Historic Fort Steuben at (740) 283-1787 for details. And, if you are making a donation by check, make sure you write “Tuskegee Airmen mural” on the memo line.


¯And, finally, congratulations are in order for staff members who were recognized when the West Virginia Press Association handed out its annual awards Aug. 3 at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown. Community Editor Janice Kiaski took first- and second-place honors in the best lifestyles feature category; sports writer Andrew Grimm took third place in best sports columnist; Craig Howell, managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, received a third-place award in news photography; our newspaper staff took third-place honors in best special section for “Community Stars”; and the advertising department took third-place honors in best special section-sports for “The Gridiron 2018,” our annual high school football preview edition.

We strive to produce quality products every day, and it’s always nice to be recognized by our peers — in this case, members of the New Jersey Press Association.

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