ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce enjoyed a lively evening at Belmont College and recognized businesses that have gone above and beyond in their commitment to the community at the 2021 Annual Dinner and Awards Thursday .
Business representatives in attendance also benefited from a fascinating presentation by Dr Cyril Wecht, a famous medical examiner who has weighed in on the irregularities of many high-profile murders since the 1960s.
Belmont Savings Bank won the Business of the Year award. Wheeling Hospital, the expected presenter, could not be represented, but speaker EJ Schodzinski, director of marketing and development at Crittenton Hospital, read the hospital’s statement.
âWhat they think of this community is evident in everything they do. They have a passion. They care about it and live in the community on a daily basis, âhe said, adding that this includes sponsoring local events and helping businesses and individuals achieve their goals. “They always have something on the calendar that has something to do with the community.”
âIt really means the world to us,â said Belmont Savings Bank Chairman Todd Cover, adding that the bank is committed to the community.
âWe are not a typical bank,â he said. âWe love to have fun, but that’s not what separated us. What separates us are two words: we care. â¦ We care about our customers. We care about communities. We care about schools. â¦ We are always here.
Cover thanked the staff for making this possible.
“I can’t promise that we’ll always solve all your problems, but I can promise you a few things: we’ll be there to listen to you, we’ll give you everything we’ve gotâ¦ and most of all, we’ll care. . “
He received a standing ovation.
United Way of Upper Ohio Valley has been recognized for its community involvement. Jessica Rine, Executive Director, accepted the award from Belmont College President Dr. Paul Gasparro.
âFor the tremendous efforts they have put in in the tri-state region and the work they have done for the community is unprecedented,â Gasparro said.
The Residence Inn by Marriott in St. Clairsville was named Distinguished Employer of the Year for providing opportunities to a wide range of employees with disabilities.
âWe are very committed. We enjoyed it. We do our best and try to do better every year, âsaid Brianna Ball, Director of Operations at Residence Inn.
Brenda Garletts, Outreach Coordinator at Belmont Career Center, was named Ambassador of the Year for her efforts in promoting the region and recruiting new members since late 2019. She awarded Wendy Anderson, Director of the St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce for inspiring her to take action. as ambassador.
âI went down to the bedroom office and had just moved in here and didn’t know anyone,â Garletts said. She added that community spirit, compassion, the ability to relate, and the ability to talk to people were essential in the job. âI am a very good volunteer. â¦ I am proud that the program has continued to grow. We do a lot of different things, we visit a lot of different events, but it just keeps growing. “
Schodzinski said the chamber now has 500 business members.
âQuite an accomplishment,â he said.
Wecht’s main presentation took on a pleasant atmosphere as he interwoven personal stories and impressions with the recitation of historic homicides.
He lamented the politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic and spoke of other widespread illnesses that have plagued the nation in the past. He also encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.
He also commented on the growing popularity of forensic science, especially since it has gained prominence in many forms of fiction. He added that forensic science has existed in one form or another throughout civilization, and forensic science programs are taught at a multitude of colleges.
âIt spread like wildfire,â he said.
He recounted his investigations into the facts and irregularities surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, including the bizarre decisions of who was selected to perform the autopsy, and criticized the activities of the FBI. He also reviewed the quirks of the Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. assassinations, as well as the events surrounding the OJ Simpson murder trial, the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, and the death of Elvis Presley, which are also discussed in Wecht’s various books.