Well-deserved recognition was accorded to Wheeling resident Mary Beth Hughes who was honored as an outstanding community volunteer by West Virginia Northern Community College representatives last weekend.
Hughes, owner and interior designer at Hughes Design and Gift Gallery in Wheeling, was the guest of honor at the college's annual fundraising dinner in Wheeling Saturday, Oct. 29. The dinner was organized by the Wheeling campus Friends of the College group and the WVNCC Foundation Inc. Many of Hughes' friends from Wheeling, Glen Dale and Moundsville were on hand to congratulate her.
Involved in many area civic organizations, Hughes has served on the WVNCC Foundation board for 12 years, including four years as board president. Currently, she is chair of the foundation's development committee.
Dr. Mary Marockie, the current foundation board president, called Hughes "a truly committed trustee" of the organization. Marockie noted that this year's honoree is an active community member who serves on numerous boards, committees and commissions.
Marockie also cited Hughes' business acumen, remarking that "she is truly entrepreneurial" and has developed "a highly marketable, profitable business," as well as being a devoted parent of three adult children. Marockie observed, "She (Hughes) continues to forge ahead in her life."
Opining that voluntarism "is the key to better communities," Nick Zervos, president of the Wheeling Friends of the College board, commented, "Mary Beth Hughes has given her time to benefit this community."
The event's emcee, Robert DeFrancis, Northern's dean of community relations, told Hughes, "Mary Beth, you're just about the classiest lady I have ever seen."
In response to the accolades, Hughes called WVNCC "the best community college on the planet." She remarked that she has "an especially warm place in my heart" for the institution. She told the dinner audience that many people "couldn't even dream of being in college without the generosity of people like you and the hard work" of the Friends of the College, the foundation members and the school's faculty, staff and admnistration.
The dinner's theme was "Hooray for Hollywood: An Evening with the Stars." In keeping with that theme, the plaque given to Hughes was designated as the People's Choice Award.
Large white letters spelling out "Hollywood," a la the famous California landmark, were placed on the lawn outside the college's Education Center, where the dinner was staged. Upon entering the Education Center lobby, guests walked down a red carpet and were greeted by formally-clad servers dispensing glasses of champagne.
Designer Scott Klinkoski transformed the building's multi-purpose room into an elegant banquet hall, with strands of clear twinkling lights, swathed in voluminous swags of white tulle, suspended from the ceiling. Round dining tables were covered in long white tablecloths, accented with black cloth napkins, and adorned with dramatic tall arrangements of white and black feathers. Larger-than-life-size, gold-colored Oscar statuettes were placed throughout the room.
WVNCC's culinary arts department faculty and students prepared and served the food for the reception and banquet. The delicious repast began with a starter of artichoke and feta served on pita bread rounds. A salad of mixed greens was accented by apple straws and pomegranate seeds. Baskets of the culinary arts department's famous bread also were placed on the tables.
Guests were offered a choice of filet mignon, seared tuna or vegetarian entrees.
For dessert, diners were served a trio of puff pastries, each with a different filling and accompaniment.
The second volume of area historian Gary Rider's book, "Marshall County Patriots and Heroes," will be released at the Moundsville Public Library Thursday, Nov. 10.
A short program and book signing will take place in the library's meeting room from 4-6 p.m.
This volume features 140 more men and women from Marshall County who have served in the military, Rider said.
Rider will return to the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling for a Lunch with Books program on the new book at noon Tuesday, Nov. 22.
Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: Comins@news-register.net