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Veterans park group plans dinner-dance

April 13, 2013
By WARREN SCOTT - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

WELLSBURG - The Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation will recognize a local veteran for his service while raising money for the park's continued maintenance at its annual dinner-dance set April 27 at the Wellsburg Banquet Hall.

Gene Camilletti of Wellsburg will receive the group's veteran of the year award in recognition of his service to his country and community.

An Air Force veteran, Camilletti served at a military hospital in the U.S. that treated soldiers burned by flamethrowers, bombs and other weapons used in the Korean War.

Article Photos

DINNER-DANCE PLANNED — Members of the Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation’s fundraising committee gathered to finalize details for the group’s annual dinner-dance, which will be held April 27 at the Wellsburg Banquet Hall and include food by Vito’s 2 and music by Twice As Nice. Among those involved are, front, from left, Janice McFadden, Barb Lewis, Nancy Strope and Joan Nicholson; and back, Paula Welch, Sharon Crabtree, Sally Cassandra, Katy O’Connell and Gene Camilletti, who also will be recognized as the group’s veteran of the year. -- Warren Scott

As a member of the foundation, he worked on a committee that compiled the names of 186 Brooke County veterans who died while serving in military conflicts and 27 who were prisoners of war. Those names are displayed on the granite wall at the memorial park.

Overlooking Brooke Hills Park's paddle boat pond, the site also includes a 7-foot tall and 4-foot wide cast bronze statue honoring all Brooke County veterans and designed by Canadian sculptor Tim Schmalz; a monument to Marine Lance Cpl. Michael J. Smith Jr., whose death in Iraq in 2004 inspired the park; and two ledgers representing Flanders Field and Arlington National Cemetery, symbols of those buried at home and abroad.

The park was dedicated on Nov. 11, Veterans Day, after $171,180 in contributions from individuals, groups and businesses was raised under the direction of Howard Armstrong, group leader.

Nancy Strope, foundation vice president and chairman of its fundraising committee, said "With the memorial completed, we have more input now than ever. We get people from all over who visit the site. Our committees are still active and ongoing. It was a long eight years, but we all worked together as a team and made it a reality for all."

Serving as guest speaker for the dinner will be 1st Lt. Joseph W. Booth, commander and platoon leader of C Co. 1/150 Aviation (Assault) at the Army Aviation Support Facility at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport.

The Rev. Dan Cooper, pastor of Hooverson Heights Church of Christ, will offer prayer.

Tickets are $15 each, and reservations should be made by April 25 by calling (304) 670-6471, (304) 374-7638, or (304) 794-6546.

Doors will open at 5 p.m., with the dinner, provided by Vito's 2, at 6 p.m. and a dance from 9 p.m. to midnight. Music will be provided by Twice As Nice.

There also will be a 50-50 drawing.

Beer and soft drinks will be provided. Attendees may bring other beverages and snacks.

The group still seeks sponsors for granite pavers at the site. For a $150 donation, individuals or groups may arrange for a paver to be inscribed in memory or honor of anyone, including veterans or family members.

For information, visit the foundation's website at or call (304) 670-2224.

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