Runner Winning The Fight Against Cancer

Wheeling runner Marti Stephan is winning the fight against ovarian cancer (stage 4) in a big way. In fact, she has no intention of letting her cancer keep her from completing the Ogden 20K race this coming Saturday, May 29.

Marti – who was profiled in an issue of the newspapers’ Boomers & Beyond section last year – has completed 30 of the annual 20K races thus far and this will be her 31st.

Her physical endurance and positive attitude is incredible, according to her husband, Denny Stephan, who noted that she finished her final chemotherapy treatment Monday, May 10.

“She is an inspiration to many and her hope is to encourage others with adversity to deal with it in a positive manner,” Denny Stephan commented.

Go, Marti, go!

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When Friends of Wheeling members and guests gathered for the historic preservation group’s annual dinner at Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling Wednesday, May 19, they participated in a special photographic session for national dissemination.

Hydie Friend, executive director of Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp., encouraged everyone in attendance to venture onto the front steps of Stifel Center and stand behind a Wheeling National Heritage banner proclaiming “Smart. Green. Working.”

Photographer and Friends of Wheeling member Gary Zearott then took several shots of the assembled group holding the special banner. Friend explained that the photograph will be submitted for a national campaign organized by other heritage areas to promote the concept of national heritage areas. She said a copy of the photo also will be sent to the office of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., in recognition of his support for the Wheeling National Heritage Area.

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During the Friends of Wheeling dinner, guests were treated to a slice of history about Stifel Center, which had been the private mansion of Edward and Emily Stifel from 1910 until 1976, when the Stifel family gave the property to Oglebay Institute. The property was named Edemar in honor of the Stifels’ three children, Edward, Emily and Mary.

The Stifels’ grandson, Edward “Ed”Stifel III of Wheeling, recalled life at his grandparents’ home and reminisced about the era before television and the Internet when “people made their own fun.” He noted that all of the “big, beautiful houses around town have porches,” where people gathered “to tell stories and lies.”

Sharing the story of those times of fun and mischief-making, Stifel said his grandfather once purchased metal flowers and placed them at strategic spots in his wife’s beloved gardens on the eve of April Fool’s Day. When April 1 dawned, the elder Stifel steered his wife casually to the windows overlooking the gardens. Looking out on the amazing sight, she proclaimed, “Oh, Ed, my flowers are up already!”

Ed Stifel also related that a rare carpet, which had been used as a cover for the family’s pool table, later was sold at auction for more than $400,000. He quipped that the new owner of the expensive floor covering didn’t know that the rug also had been the family dog’s favorite sleeping spot, and that, on one occasion, the dog – apparently piqued at its owners – had urinated on the valuable carpet.

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Actor and Wheeling native John Corbett is reprising one of his most famous roles, Aidan, from “Sex and the City,” for the popular television series’ new film sequel, “”Sex and the City 2.”

In the new “SATC2” movie, Corbett’s character, Aidan, a former love interest of the series’ main character, Carrie Bradshaw, reappears in Morocco, where Carrie (played by actress Sarah Jessica Parker) and her three gal pals are vacationing. During an appearance by Parker on “The Today Show” Thursday, May 20, “Today” co-host Meredith Viera commented that Corbett “is so darn adorable.”

Coincidentally, Corbett and Parker now share an Ohio Valley connection. Parker’s twin daughters were born, via surrogacy, in Martins Ferry last summer, and Corbett, of course, was born in Wheeling.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: