The January 8, 2018, Ellwood City Area Historical Society meeting held at the National Grind Coffee Shop was opened with Everett Bleakney welcoming everyone and explaining the mission of the Historical Society which is to protect, promote and preserve the Ellwood City area History and to make it accessible to the people of Ellwood City.
Bob Morabito led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
A past president, Jim Hockenberry was called to install the following Officers and Board members to serve for the year 2018
President – Everett Bleakney
1st Vice President – Dorothy Buquo
2nd Vice President – Dom Viccari
Secretary – Lois Liebendorfer
Treasurer – Charles Brown
Al Kocher – 3 years
Robert Morabito – 3 years
Andy Kindle – 2 years
Mary May – 2 years
Barbara Neff – 1 year
Ron Geddes – 1 year
Jim read from the By-laws regarding the Purpose of the Society and advised that, as a Past President, he is a member emeritus of the Board.
The World War II Program which has been very well received continues at the History Center. Opening day 108 people visited the display. The History class from Lincoln High School has been thru the exhibit and on January 16 the entire History program from Riverside will be bussed to the Center to conduct their history lesson. It has been rewarding to see the number of young people interested in the display.
Everett introduced Guy Prestia a World War II Veteran who has been at the History Center many times when young visitors were there. These young people had the pleasure of speaking face to face with Guy and hearing some of the experiences he had during the war. He spoke to us of many of those experiences.
Everett then introduced the speaker for the evening, Bob Rivers who, along with his wife Jackie own the National Grind Coffee Shop where our meeting was being held. Bob is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and is a World War II reenactor. Bob had many pictures, uniforms, firearms, etc., all original equipment used during the war, on display for viewing. Many of these were donated to him. The Purple Heart belonging to Guy Prestia was also on display. Bob talked about how well the reenactments are attended. Many individuals are interested because they had fathers and/or grandfathers who served during the war. Bob advised the D-Day reenactment in Conneaut, Ohio in August is the largest one in the area. These reenactments help to convey our history to those viewing them.
Everett thanked Bob for his very interesting program and presented him with an Ellwood City map.
Door prizes were won by Jerry Riedel, Nancy Catanzariti, Tony DiBiagio and Dew Weisz.
The program for the February meeting will be held at the History Center, Monday February 12, at 7:00 pm. Dan Burns, a former police officer, a freelance writer and author of several history books will speak on the rivers of Pittsburgh.
33 were in attendance at the meeting after which refreshments were provided by Bob Rivers and the National Grind.