Ten will join the Wheeling Hall of Fame this fall | News, Sports, Jobs


WHEELING – The Wheeling Hall of Fame will have 10 new members during ceremonies scheduled for this fall.

Hall of Fame board members on Thursday announced its class of 2021 inductees. Among them are Lisa Allen, CEO of Ziegenfelder; Karla Boos, founder of the Quantum Theater in Pittsburgh; Jacques Buchanon “JB” Chambers, businessman and philanthropist; Ronald DiLorenzo, educator and musician; Beverly Allen Balch Fluty, medical technologist and historical curator; R. Douglas Huff, retired sports writer for The Intelligencer; Donald W. Levenson, business owner and technology innovator; Hugh Stobbs, founder of Wheeling Distance Races; Guillaume Edouard “TO BE” Taylor, songwriter and recording artist; and the Reverend Bonnie Bowman Thurston, teacher, pastor and author.

The event is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. on September 10 at the WesBanco Arena.

The catered event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased at wesbancoarena.com, or by calling 304-233-7000 Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

A Wheeling City Council decision two years ago changed some Hall of Fame selection criteria, allowing some not living within the city limits – but still making considerable contributions to Wheeling – to be taken. into account for inclusion.

Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott was among those speaking at the Hall of Fame announcement that took place Thursday at the WesBanco Arena, and he thanked the Hall of Fame for its work in determining the 2021 class.

“There is a lot of hard work to make these nominations and sort them out” he said. “I know that so many people have contributed to the history of Wheeling…

“I know an old saying goes that cities are just solutions to the problems people face when living near each other. You look at the list of nominees and you see that there were a lot of solutions to our problems.

Wheeling Hall of Fame inductions take place every two years, usually in June, said Robert DeFrancis, chairman of the board.

The 2021 inductions, however, have been delayed until September to allow more time to overcome COVID-19 issues, he said.

“We thought it would be better to wait and not have to wear masks or have to sit 6 feet apart,” said DeFrancis.

He called this year’s Hall of Fame class in particular “exciting.”

– Lisa Allen is CEO of Ziegenfelder, which manufactures and distributes Budget Saver Twin Pops nationwide. The product is now a top seller in the frozen treats section. During her tenure as President and CEO, she led the private enterprise through years of product development, growth, expansion and profitability.

“They sell more frozen treats than virtually any other business in America,” said DeFrancis. “It’s a great asset to Wheeling.

– Karla Boos founded the Quantum Theater in Pittsburgh at the age of 28 and remained its artistic director for decades. A graduate of the Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy, she attended Bethany College, the University of Pittsburgh and the California Institute of the Arts.

Boos’ theater does not perform in a physical theater, but broadcasts its shows in the community, according to DeFrancis.

– James Buchanan “JB” Chambers, died in 1933, “Is a well-known name in eastern Ohio and the northern panhandle of West Virginia,” according to DeFrancis.

He left his mark on Wheeling by establishing the JB Chambers Memorial Foundation to serve the youth of the greater Wheeling area. Funded projects include I-470 Park Baseball and Softball Complex, Wheeling Park High School Performing Arts Center, Chambers Family YMCA, Chambers Memorial Recreation Park, Wheeling Park Rink, Wheeling Park soccer fields , Miracle League Field at Complex I-470, NASA Challenger Learning Center Summer Camp, and Youth Scholarships for Creative Programs at the Oglebay Institute.

– Ronald J. DiLorenzo, who died in 2019, was employed by Ohio County schools for 42 years. He was the 2000 School District Educator of the Year and received the 2007 Character Educator of the Year award from the West Virginia Department of Education.

“He was a very, very well-known figure to the thousands of students who went to Wheeling Park High School,” said DeFrancis. He added that in addition to his teaching and counseling skills, DiLorenzo was considered an excellent musician.

– Beverly Allen Balch Fluty, was born in New England, but during her life in Wheeling she became a “unstoppable” leader in historic preservation. She died in 2009.

She worked to promote and save the Wheeling National Historic Monuments – West Virginia Independence Hall and the Suspension Bridge. She has lectured, organized field trips for city schoolchildren, served on the board of directors of the Wheeling National Area Corporation, advised the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service; helped develop the Oglebay Institute Glass Museum; and provided searches for books, articles and brochures.

Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott speaks at the 2021 Wheeling Hall of Fame inductee announcements on Thursday. (Photo by
Joselyn King)

– R. Douglas Huff, sports writer and editor, served on the Hall of Fame board for several decades. After his resignation from the board, the board knew he needed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame immediately, according to DeFrancis.

“It was almost obvious to the people of the council”, he said. “Doug’s reputation as a sports writer is known nationally. He was one of the first sports writers to get involved online.

Most notably, Huff was a master of stats that sports fans appreciate, DeFrancis said.

– Donald W. Levenson died in 1978. A graduate of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, he worked for RCA during WWII, inventing the “Echo box”, for which he received a presidential citation. While helping run the family business, Reichart Furniture Company, Levenson incorporated Wheeling Antenna Company in 1952, making Wheeling one of the first towns in the country to have cable television.

“Cable TV is now ubiquitous. This was not the case before, “ said DeFrancis.“He was one of the first businessmen to recognize it. “

–Hugh Nevin Stobbs passed away last year, but not before forever changing the face of running in Wheeling, according to DeFrancis.

In 1976, Stobbs founded the first Elby’s First National Bank 20-Kilometer Distance Classic (now known as the Ogden Half-Marathon) and continued as race director for the next 25 years. During those years, this annual race had been a qualifying event for the United States Olympic team and the United States 20-kilometer national championship and was ranked among the top 10 road racing events in the country.

– Guillaume Edouard “TO BE” Taylor, who died in 2016, was a nationally recognized songwriter and artist. Moving to Wheeling in the mid-1980s, his band, the group BE Taylor, had a number one regional Billboard hit with “Vitamin L.”

He led the house group and co-hosted the nationally recognized, award-winning and syndicated Christian music video show, “Light music.” In 1994, he founded his own label through which he released “BE Taylor Christmas”, featuring his unique interpretation of many Christmas carols. This led to the annual BE Taylor Christmas Tour.

“BE Taylor sadly passed away too soon, but his music survives”, said DeFrancis.

– The Reverend Bonnie Bowman Thurston is a teacher, author and religious leader. Born in Bluefield and raised in Beckley, she received her BA from Bethany College and MA and PhD from the University of Virginia.

Ordained to ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), also affiliated with the Episcopal Church of the United States, she has pastored many churches and taught at the university level for 30 years.

She is a world renowned author on the New Testament, prayer and in particular Catholic spiritual pioneer Thomas Merton. She has written or edited 29 books, including six volumes of poetry.

After the induction of the 10 new members, there will be 164 notables in the Wheeling Hall of Fame.

In addition to DeFrancis, the Wheeling Hall of Fame board members include Vice President Jeanne Finstein; secretary-treasurer, Philip Stahl; F. Wayne Barte; Dick Coury; the Reverend Darrell W. Cummings; Ben Exley IV; George Frazier; Jay Frey; Jon-Erik Gilot; David Javersak; Charles J. Kaiser; Kim McCluskey; Kelly Rine; Wheeling City Councilor Jerry Sklavounakis; Dianna Vargo; Chris Villamagna; the Reverend Bob Willits; and Maureen Zambito.

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