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Sending Well Wishes to the Dapper Dan Guys

May 14, 2011
By DOUG HUFF , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

DAPPER DAN.

The Upper Ohio Valley Dapper Dan Club has been around since 1966.

And two of the major reasons are the work the last three decades of two Weirton residents, DAN OLEXIA and BOB ROSSELL.

Both of these Ohio Valley sportsmen have gone the extra mile in helping recognize deserving area sports figures as well as assisting with charitable projects in the Ohio Valley.

They have been major forces in continuing the Dapper Dan chapter started by the late BOB McKELVEY of Toronto and such active people as DICK CRAVEN, BILL HERRINGTON, FRED SIMON, SKIP ROWLAND, PAUL KALIVODA, JOHN RAMER and several others.

But, in recent years, the chapter Board of Directors has been reduced to 10-12 hard-working individuals who want to continue the worthwhile tradition in the area.

But, like a lot of service organizations, the influx of new volunteerism has been minimal.

This brings us back to Olexia and Rossell, two of the "rocks" of the Dapper Dan group who have been sponsoring an annual Charity Awards Banquet for 45 years.

The Dapper Dan interest torch was passed to Olexia from his late father ALBERT, a long-time worker and public volunteer from Mingo Junction. Dan became involved in Dapper Dan 30 years ago and has been the club president longer than anyone else. He's served as club president since 1998, his third stint at the helm since 1985.

Rossell has been contributing to Ohio Valley sports, especially high school, since the early 1950s. A major player in the Weir High Boosters since 1954 and an active selection board member of the Weirton City Hall of Fame and Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, he's a doer and worker besides his major role with the Dapper Dans.

He coordinates the Dapper Dan Awards Dinner printed program, which is unmatched in the area, as well as serving as Chairman of the Special Awards and Plaque Committee. Those are major roles in the Dapper Dan group.

In other words, Olexia and Rossell are major players in keeping the Dapper Dan tradition alive on the Ohio Valley scene. They have been passionate about the organization and continuing the work.

But since the annual Banquet in February, both Olexia and Rossell have been battling health issues and their personal, and volunteer, status remains up in the air.

The good health of Olexia and Rossell is the main issue. Dapper Dan is secondary.

The good wishes, and prayers, of all Dapper Dan members, including yours truly, are extended to two good guys who have been there for others for years.

Get well, Dan & Bob.

JOE PETTINI.

One of the most honored high school baseball players in Ohio Valley history is managing a major league baseball team. At least for a brief period.

The former Brooke High luminary, and inductee into the OVAC Hall of Fame, has been the bench coach of the St. Louis Cardinals since 2002 but hasn't managed a pro club since 1996 when he served as pilot of the Cardinals' Class AAA farm club in Louisville, Ky. An eight-year minor league mentor, he guided the Louisville Redbirds to the 1995 American Association championship.

But managing in the major leagues wasn't in the "cards" until earlier this week.

That's when 16-year Cardinals manager TONY LARUSSA had to take an absence for health reasons and Pettini was handed the managerial reins.

With Pettini at the helm, the Cardinals won two of three games in a series with the Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals opened a weekend series Friday night at Cincinnati.

Enjoy the weekend.

 
 

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