STEUBENVILLE -The men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to keep us safe still have the opportunity to receive a free ticket to hear retired Air Force Col. Mark Tillman speak at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 11.
His appearance in the Steubenville High School auditorium, the next installment in the Herald-Star, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Speaker Series, will include a remembrance of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as well as a salute to area first responders and military personnel, active and retired.
Tillman, who was the nation's 12th presidential pilot, commanded Air Force One from 2001 to 2009. He was at the controls of the Boeing 747 for many historic events. Most notably, he protected President George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001, by keeping him out of harm's way and keeping the flying Oval Office connected to the nation's first responders.
"We're proud to be able to present Mark Tillman as our next speaker," said Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. "We're also honored that we will be able to recognize area first responders and servicemen and women as part of our presentation."
Each area first responder, serviceman and servicewoman, active and retired, is eligible to receive one free reserved seat ticket to the Sept. 11 program, while supplies last. The tickets may be claimed at the Herald-Star, 401 Herald Square, during regular business hours with proper identification.
"It seems there are never enough words to adequately thank those men and women who work each day to ensure the safety of our communities," Gallabrese said. "We hope that inviting them to be a part of this special presentation shows the appreciation we have for all of the work they do."
The free tickets are made available through the generosity of several area businesses and organizations, including Cattrell Cos. Inc., platinum level; Ambulance Service Inc., Axcess Management, First Choice America Federal Community Credit Union, Hauser's Furniture and the Rotary Club of Steubenville, gold level; and Apollo Pro Cleaning, Em-Media, Frank and Jerry Furniture and Appliances, Heritage Complete Home Health Care, McBane Insurance, McDonnell Chiropractic, New York Life, Mosti Funeral Home, Sterling Auto Body and Tri-State Financial Services, silver level.
Reserved seat tickets for the presentation are available for $20 each at the Herald-Star. Credit card orders can be placed online by visiting heraldstaronline.com and clicking on the speaker series button in the left column of the homepage. Phone orders can be placed by calling 740- 283-4711.
VIP packages for the presentation can be purchased by contacting the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, 630 Market St., at 740-282-6226. The packages sell for $150 each and include a reception with Tillman at the Bayberry House Bed and Breakfast; cocktails and hors d'oeurves; the opportunity to have a picture taken with Tillman; transportation to and from the presentation at the high school; and a ticket to the presentation in a priority seating area.
Area students will have the opportunity to attend the presentation at no charge thanks to the support of the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley. Distribution of those tickets will be coordinated by school officials throughout the Tri-State Area.
Presenting sponsors for the series include Eastern Gateway Community College, the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Trinity Health System, the Health Plan and WTRF-TV.
Special support is being provided by Bayberry House Bed and Breakfast, Piergallini Catering, Steubenville High School, Newbrough Photo and Thrifty Car Rental.