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Looking at the numbers

When you stop to think about it, numbers play a pretty important role in each of our lives.

If you’re a sports fans, you might immerse yourself in numbers. Statistics, after all, offer a way to measure performance and compare the attributes of individual athletes. Odds, meanwhile, present another type of statistics, and are the basis for the many wagers that can enhance the enjoyment of watching different events.

Those who follow politics, meanwhile, might find themselves constantly studying polls, looking for the latest trends that likely will change time and time again between now and election day.

Still others follow gasoline closely, carefully considering the price shown on each sign in front of each station and sometimes driving miles out of their way to save a penny or two per gallon.

And, while each of us looks at the many different numbers that are all around us in many different ways, there are some that really do stand out.

Consider, for example, the numbers 25, 75 and 111 and what they mean to our community

The first, 25, represents the number of years that the United Way of Jefferson County has held its annual Taste of the County event. This year’s edition is scheduled to be held Oct. 9 at the St. Florian Event Center in Wintersville.

Marking its silver anniversary, this year’s edition of the much-anticipated event will again offer area residents the chance to sample food and drink from restaurants, bakeries and caterers from throughout the area.

Tickets cost $35 each, which makes it a fairly affordable night out, and they are available by contacting the United Way office at (740) 284-9000. It’s always a fun evening, one that includes several drawings for cash and prizes. But it also has a serious side — it serves as a major fundraiser for the United Way, which has set a goal of $350,000 for its current campaign. It’s important to remember, as Kate Sedgmer, United Way executive director, and campaign chairs Tyra and Tom Timmons point out, that money raised here stays here to help your friends and neighbors.

Celebrating its diamond anniversary — that’s 75 years — this year is the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District, and the milestone was marked Monday evening during its annual meeting and banquet at Le Chateau Pier in Smithfield.

It also gave the organization, which works under the simple mission statement of promoting conservation of our lands and waters, the chance to present several awards. Virginia and Curt Glenn, whose farm sits on county Road 54 near Irondale, received the Conservation Farmer of the Year Award; Eastern Gateway Community College and the Franciscan University of Steubenville were recognized for their efforts with the Ohio Environthon Program; and Lou DiGregory and his family received special recognition for their service to area residents. Their business, Steubenville-based DiGregory’s Greenhouse and Garden Center, will close at the end of the year after serving the region for 82 years.

Mark Nelson and Ken Perkins were re-elected to their posts as supervisors.

Also announced were plans for the Quaker Ridge Arboretum and Nature Trails project, which will cover a little more than 100 acres of land that sits along state Route 152 in the northern part of the county. It’s described as being a place for conservation, preservation and education that is designed to increase the quality of life for area residents.

Included in the plans are trails, a shelter house and various areas dedicated to sunflowers and wildflowers, a poppy field to pay homage to veterans, a stargazer’s field, a large overlook that will offer views of the Cedar Lick stream plain and a quail and grouse habitat.

More information is available by contacting the district offices at (740) 264-9790.

That last number, 111, is important as well because it represents the number of years the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce has been serving our region. That accomplishment will be recognized Oct. 16 at St. Florian Event Center during the organization’s annual awards dinner and meeting.

This year’s theme is “Anything on Wheels,” and the focus will be on local auto dealerships.

According to chamber President Tricia Maple-Damewood, the evening will offer a chance to celebrate the success of the past year, recognize volunteers and present awards to local businesses and their owners.

Guest speaker will be Mark Patton, vice president of the Columbus Partnership and co-leader of the Smart Columbus initiative.

Tickets are $60 per person and are available by contacting the chamber at (740) 282-6226.

Those numbers then — 25, 75 and 111 — are very meaningful and important to area residents. They represent organizations and events that have stood the test of time. They stand for longevity that comes when those involved are doing something right and respecting the past while working toward the future. They play vital roles in the lives of everyone in our region, and deserve your thanks and support.

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

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