Five to be inducted into Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame

EAST LIVERPOOL — A former NFL player, a Steubenville area businessman, a retired military veteran from New Manchester, a teacher and basketball coach from Beaver Falls, and a man instrumental in both the local YMCA and the Bill Booth Award are among those who will be honored at this year’s Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame induction banquet on June 12 at the St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.

The Class of 2017 inductees includes the following:

New Manchester native Peggy Miller Bahnsen, who retired as a lieutenant colonel after 20 years in the U.S. Army, served in the adjutant general’s corps and had the distinction of being the first woman to serve as a regimental tactical officer (RTO) at West Point, placing her in command of one quarter of the corps of cadets during her military career.

Paul Carapellotti is graduate of Steubenville Catholic Central High School and Furman University, where he was a member of the football teams. He has been a long-time trustee at Franciscan University of Steubenville while serving as chairman of the Baron Athletic Council. He and his family been involved in a variety of business enterprises in the Tri-State Area.

Frank Chan is a former high school teacher and basketball coach at both East Liverpool and Beaver Falls, where he led his Tiger team to the state championship in 1970. His overall record with the Tigers was 367-115. He is a graduate of East Liverpool High School and Washington & Jefferson College.

The late Carl “Pop” Werner is known as the man who built the East Liverpool YMCA into a dynamic organization for little or no pay. He is credited with creating both a stamp collecting club as well as a coin club, along with the Hi-Y’s Bill Booth Award which goes to a deserving ELHS senior football player. He also served as secretary of the original Community Fund and was an excellent teacher of gymnastics and swimming at the Y.

This year’s  featured guest and the recipient of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award is former NFL fullback Franco Harris.

A 1990 Pro Football Hall of Famer, Harris played 12 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and spent his final NFL year with the Seattle Seahawks. Chosen for 9 consecutive Pro Bowls, Harris also had the distinction of being the first African-American and the first Italian-American to be named a Super Bowl MVP.

Harris, along with Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw, is one half of the duo responsible for what many believe is the most famous play in the entire history of football — “The Immaculate Reception.” In a 1972 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders, with the Raiders leading 7-6, and just 22 seconds left to play, a Bradshaw pass was deflected away from its intended receiver, and Harris nabbed it as it was about to hit the ground, powering into the end-zone for a game-winning touchdown. Although the team does not officially retire numbers, no one has been assigned his number “32” since he left the team.

Now that his pro sports days are over, Harris, along with a former Penn State teammate, started Super Bakery (now RSuper Foods), a company founded in 1990 to produce nutrition-oriented foods for schoolchildren.

The second annual MVP Award will go to a charitable organization known as Dreaming of Three, founded by Jackie Harris, executive director. Through a common passion for horses and rodeo, the group raises funds for the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, several animal rescues, and disaster relief efforts. They also take children fighting cancer (accompanied by their families) to rodeos via their Rodeo Kids Program.

To highlight the evening’s activities, Coach Lou Holtz will offer remarks.

Also attending the banquet for recognition will be this year’s Life Improvement Scholarship winners and their guests.

Tickets for the induction banquet go on sale beginning Monday, Jan. 23, and are only available through the Holtz Hall of Fame. The ticket price of $125 includes admission to the appetizer and dinner portion of the evening, the ceremony, a keepsake program, an event favor and a ticket for a chance on a number of prize giveaways to be held during the evening. Prizes awarded will include autographed sports memorabilia and fan packages featuring game tickets.

This year’s buffet dinner menu is built around a western theme, featuring BBQ ribs, fried chicken, and “all the fixin’s,” including a baked potato bar loaded with toppings. Appetizers are at 6 p.m. Dinner is at 6:30 followed by the induction program. Doors open at 5:45.

Those interested in being event sponsors or advertising in the printed program may contact Rosemary Mackall, director of development, at 330-386-5443. Available space is limited.

The Hall of Fame, which opened in 1998 in the former Bank One building on East Fifth Street in downtown East Liverpool, is celebrating its 19th year as a museum for “sports, history, motivation and more,” and this year will mark the 18th induction ceremony. Since its inception, more than three quarters of a million dollars has been distributed to vocational students and educators in the Upper Ohio Valley.

The idea of the Hall of Fame originally was conceived as a facility to celebrate the achievements of East Liverpool’s favorite son, legendary football coach Lou Holtz. When approached, Holtz initially declined and later relented, providing that the concept be expanded to also recognize residents and natives of the Upper Ohio Valley in all fields of endeavor who serve as inspirations for the area’s young people. Holtz also expressed his desire for the hall to help preserve the rich cultural heritage of the communities that make up the valley.

The hall is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. There is no admission fee, however donations are welcome. Those interested in more information may call 330-386-5443.

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