WHEELING - In honor of Memorial Day and the sacrifice many area residents and their families have made defending America, The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register and Bordas & Bordas of Wheeling will present a special musical tribute to area veterans on May 23, as part of the 38th-annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic.
The free event, set for 7:45 p.m. at Wheeling's Heritage Port, will feature the 30-plus member Allegheny Brass Band playing patriotic songs. All veterans will be recognized during the event, and a special honor and recognition will be given to all World War II and Korean War veterans in attendance.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend to kick off the Memorial Day weekend of events.
SPECIAL EVENT — Moundsville resident Sgt. Frank Koonce, center, a Korean War veteran, stands with, from left, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Steve Habursky, U.S. Army Col. Paul Hicks and U.S. Air Force Maj. R. “Scat” Scatterday. Koonce will be among a group of World War II and Korean War veterans honored May 23 when The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register and Bordas & Bordas of Wheeling present a musical tribute to area veterans featuring the Allegheny Brass Band as part of the 38th-annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic. The concert is set for 7:45 p.m. at Wheeling’s Heritage Port. -- Scott McCloskey
"Our goal in hosting the Memorial Day weekend concert is to give the greater Wheeling community the opportunity to gather in one space, as a whole, to thank both our living and deceased veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy every day," Perry Nardo, general manager of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, said. "Having the Allegheny Brass Band on hand to play patriotic music while we honor our veterans will truly show the appreciation and respect this community has for those who served."
The Allegheny Brass Band, based near Pittsburgh, is one of the area's top amateur brass bands. The band is a traditional British brass band that features flugelhorn, euphonium, tenor and baritone horns as well as cornets, trombones, tubas and percussion.
Band business manager Jim Muchony said traveling to Wheeling for such an important event was an easy sell to his members. He noted the band first played specifically for veterans about five years ago during an event hosted by the Fisher Foundation, and now regularly plays at area veterans' hospitals as part of its "We Bring the Band to You!" campaign.
"The Allegheny Brass Band is excited to be performing in Wheeling, as this gives us an opportunity to perform at a new venue and to reach a new audience, and we especially welcome the opportunity to perform for our veterans," Muchony said. "In the words of the Fisher Foundation, our concerts are 'dedicated to our greatest national treasure ... our military men and women and their families.' The Allegheny Brass Band is looking forward to seeing you on May 23."
Jamie Bordas at Bordas & Bordas said his firm is proud to be part of the Memorial Day concert.
"The Ohio Valley is not just where we work, it is where we live," Bordas said. "We are honored to partner with so many organizations within our community and are especially proud to support the 2014 Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic and their Memorial Day tribute with the Allegheny Brass Band. We appreciate the sacrifice of those who fight for our country and look forward to the festivities honoring those who served."
The annual Torch Relay to honor veterans will continue, said Race Director R. "Scat" Scatterday. The relay, set for 4 p.m. on May 23, starts at the Osiris Shrine Temple in Elm Grove and travels the final six miles of the half marathon course. Veterans are encouraged to attend and join the torch run starting at the base of Wheeling Hill in the Fulton section of town.
Scatterday, himself a Vietnam War veteran, said honoring area veterans with both the torch relay and the Memorial Day weekend concert is the least that can be done for those who have served our country.
"I am requesting all World War II and Korean War veterans, or their families, to contact me personally so we can gather information about your service and personally honor you, on stage, during the May 23 concert," Scatterday said.
He can be reached by calling (304) 281-0512.
Organizers of the 38th-annual Ogden Half Marathon Classic, set for May 23-24 on the streets of Wheeling, have chosen to partner with the Wheeling FOP and the group's annual Shop with a Cop program, marking the fifth year the Ogden race has donated its proceeds to a local charitable cause that benefits the region's youth.
In previous years, race proceeds went to the Augusta Levy Learning Center, the Miracle Field of the Ohio Valley and the Howard Corcoran Scholarship Fund through the Super Six Committee.