Saturday, January 28, 2012

Catching Up Clairton

HAIL TO THE HEROES: In case you have been living in a cave, (or just because I like hearing the sound of it)Our Clairton High School Bears football team recently won an unprecedented three-peat. That is, they won their third state championship as well as having set enough records to require a new record book. Bravo.

Last year we placed a call to CHS alumni as well as other boosters and those who just admire the accomplishments of the little high school that could. The results were fantastic, as the goal was exceeded which allowed for the purchase of new game jerseys. Super Bear fan and CHS alum Bev Alcorn recent sent me an email reminder that read in part: “We are asking all of the CHS Alumni, fans, friends, and family to help raise the money for the Championship Rings for the Clairton Bears as we did last year. Please send your donations to: Sue Wessel, 512 N. 6th Street, Clairton, Pa 15025. Please make your checks payable to the Clairton Athletic Champions Club.”

The Clairton Athletic Champions Club is also selling Clairton Bears Sweatshirts for $25.00 s-xl, & $30.00 1x-3x. If you are interested, please drop me an email at and I’ll forward it to Sue.

BEARS STILL SHINE: In case you missed it, Steeler media did a summary of the Championship Game. Click on the link to enjoy:

Eagle-eye CHS alum Ed Sowa caught an item of another example of CHS recognition by the Steelers. In a Daily News article by Michael DiVittorio, “Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and Clairton City School District junior Carlton Dennis will be featured as part of an upcoming documentary.” Divittorio goes on to explain that USA Network will do aa series beginning Feb. 10 entitled “NFL Characters Unite,” a series designed to help students deal with racism, bullying, and other forms of abuse. Featured will be Steeler great Hines Ward and CHS junior Carlton Dennis. Ward, the MVP of Super Bowl XL, spent time at CHS having lunch with the students, attending an assembly, and spending time with Carlton. The future of Clairton belongs to the next generation. They are working hard to capture it.

A video has been circulating on the internet regarding a tremendous accident in Pittsburgh. Carl Blackburn and Putzie Martin, both of whom sent me the item ask, “Why didn’t we learn about this in school?” Simple. They were absent that day. Enjoy this bit of history:

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY AT CHS: The best thing about CHS alumni is they do not forget where they came from and strive to make things better for current students. Dr. Pauline Long and a host of other graduates have been meeting regularly to mentor CHS undergrads. Yours truly was honored to take part in the December meeting in which several successful alumni shared their secrets of success. Dr. Long shared the following synopsis of the most recent meeting:

Reaching the Reachable Mentoring program
“We had another successful and I call it fun day with primarily 11 & 12th grade students at CHS in the Library. The THEME of "Dare to Dream" was exemplified by two entrepreneurs with businesses in Clairton. Peggy Price of Peggy Price Dance Studios and Karen George of KAG Signworks both gave talks about how they started their business. Peggy has been in business for 33 years and Karen for 21. Janella Hamlin director of Youth Places and an Educator concluded the program with a talk about "Living your Dream". She mentioned several deceased coaches and classmates that did not make it to realize their dreams, but encouraged those in the audience that we as alumni mentors were here to help them realize theirs. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Erhlich explained how the Reaching the Reachable Mentoring program fit in with the larger Educational program that CHS is having in a schematic that included MAPS. She announced that there would be several other programs in February where the Alumni where encouraged to participate and speak to the students about their careers.. Feb. 14, Feb. 17 and Feb. 29, 2012.

Toni Schley, Terrence Fort, Ebony Howard, Sean Thomas and Dr. Long were also present. A special thank you to Jaleah Webb for her dance demonstration...with Peggy Price... we're looking forward to another presentation of Feb. 17, 2012.”

CLAIRTON MUSIC: Many alumni remember the sweet strains of Benny Benack and his coronet. The CHS music teacher became an icon not only in our community but in Pittsburgh where he played for Steeler and Pirate games, including the year the Bucs won the World Series. Benny Benack, Jr. inherited his father’s passion for music and education and although he did as many gigs as he wanted, Jr. got a degree from Duquesne and is today a bank vice-president. But he passed the passion and discipline on to his son, Benny Benack III, is now age 21 and currently playing various concerts around Pittsburgh. He’s a pretty darn good trumpet player and singer from what I hear.

A little blogging music Maestro… “When the Saints Come Marching Home.” By the Bennys Benack

Dr. Forgot

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