STEUBENVILLE – Area residents who attend the Nov. 2 presentation by Jeff Hatcher as part of the Herald-Star Speaker Series, presented by Eastern Gateway Community College will have the chance to hear Jeff Hatcher discuss his work as a as screenwriter and playwright.
They will also have the chance to hear some memories of their childhood in Steubenville.
And that, according to Michael Geoghegan, will help make the evening more important.
“I think it’s important to have the opportunity to hear from people who are from the region and have been successful and still have ties to the region,” he added. Geoghegan, the community college president, explained while discussing this year’s presentation.
EGCC returns as presenting sponsor of the series, which debuted in 2012. Since then, area residents have had the chance to hear presentations on a wide variety of topics. Hatcher, a playwright and screenwriter, is a Steubenville native who graduated from Wintersville High School in 1976.
“Those who attend will see the community spirit and the hard work and dedication that is important,” said Geoghegan. “They can see someone who has come out and been successful in their career based on the qualities and virtues of growing up in this community. It’s quite powerful.
This year’s presentation will take place in the auditorium of the new Indian Creek High School. It is a state-of-the-art facility, featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems as well as theater-style seating.
Hatcher’s work spans films, including “The Good Liar” and “Mr. Holmes”; stage presentations, including “She”, a biography of the incomparable jazz great Ella Fitzgerald, “Holmes and Watson” and adaptation of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” which he wrote with Mitch Albom, the author of the award-winning book.
Past presentations of the series have taken place in the auditoriums of Steubenville High School and Catholic Central High School. Geoghegan said the use of schools is an important aspect of the series.
“I think it’s very important” he said. “I mean, education is what it’s all about. We host it on educational sites, and that’s what educational institutions should be doing — bringing that experience from outside the region into the region.
“Stakeholders also go back to their roots, and they say they succeeded because they grew up in a certain neighborhood. I think that’s very important and that’s why we’re happy to be the title sponsor.
This support helps ensure that the series can continue.
“We are fortunate to be able to bring in a speaker like Jeff Hatcher,” said Ross Gallabrese, a classmate of Hatcher and editor of the Herald-Star and Weirton Daily Times. “Thanks to the support of our sponsors, we are able to maintain the quality of presentations.”
Geoghegan said it’s important to hear the stories speakers tell. Rebekah Gregory, for example, was a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013. Her story of how she managed to survive an explosion and then rebuild her life was inspirational. And, last September, Eddie Olczyk, the former National Hockey League player and TV analyst for TNT and TBS, spoke not only about his hockey career, but also about his successful battle with cancer. colon and the difficulties he faced along the way.
Both stories offered hope.
“It’s not just about successes” said Geoghegan. “Look at Eddie last year and all the challenges and medical challenges he went through. And the inspiration he brought to be able to say, ‘Hey, you can do this.’
General admission tickets for the presentation are $25 each. A VIP package is available for $75 for one ticket and $125 for two tickets. This includes access to a private reception, scheduled from 5-6 p.m. at the Gaslite on Canton Road in Wintersville. The evening will include a meet and greet with Hatcher and a chance to have your photo taken with him, hors d’oeuvres, a drink ticket, transportation to and from high school, and preferred seats for the presentation.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Herald-Star at 401 Herald Square or call Diana Brown at (740) 283-4711. Tickets can also be purchased from newspaper websites.
Area high school and college students will have the chance to attend the presentation for free, thanks to support from local organizations including the Rotary Clubs of Steubenville and Weirton Heights and the Steubenville Kiwanis Club.
Joining the Herald-Star and Weirton Daily Times as sponsors of the presentation are Eastern Gateway Community College, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Main Street Bank, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and WTRF-TV. Special support is provided by the local Indian Creek School District, Em-Media, Gaslite, Steel Valley Regional Transit Authority, Downtown Bakery, the Inn at Franciscan Square and Rich and Shirley’s Quick Print.
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