THE MARTINS Ferry Hall of Honor began taking shape in 2007. Its founding fathers inducted the initial class of honorees in 2008.
The Hall of Honor's purpose is to pay tribute to individuals whose actions or accomplishments have affected, aided, or brought fame to Martins Ferry. Those eligible for this honor must have been born, lived or worked in Martins Ferry. The Citizens Bank is the hall's sponsor.
This year's class of honorees is another superb one. It features two of journalism's finest, both of whom are Times Leader icons.
Cal Pokas and his wife, Betty, will be enshrined into the Hall of Honor on April 6. The husband and wife tandem combined for some eight decades of excellence to The Times Leader.
Cal died in 2000 after a legendary career as sports editor. You name it, Cal covered it. His coverage of Ohio State football was peerless, but he loved covering prep sports.
He championed the causes of less-hyped sports such as cross country like nobody else. Moreover, Cal was one who accentuated the positives. His work was so highly regarded, the awards flowed his way.
One of the biggest was being included in the inaugural class of honorees for the OVAC Hall of Fame. He has also been selected as Ohio's "Sportswriter of the Year." They are many more too numerous to mention.
Betty, meanwhile, has distinguished herself not only in the realm of writing but also in community and civic affairs. In addition to her superb and award-journalistic skills, Betty gave much of her time to projects outside The Times Leader.
She edited the "Model Cities Review" for the city of Martins Ferry and was chairman of the first Betty Zane Frontier Days which later became Betty Zane Days. She also served on the Martins Ferry Board of Health.
Betty, who currently is area editor for The Times Leader, was editor of two pictorial books, "Eastern Ohio's Pictorial Past" and "Belmont County, 1801-2001."
The magna cum laude graduate of Kent State University was selected for the Barnesville Area Education Foundation Hall of Fame in 1999. Betty has collected many accolades for her journalistic prowess in both hard news and prep sports.
Cal and Betty both have scripted superlative newspaper careers that few, if any, can equal. Come April 6, they will ascend into their rightful positions in the Martins Ferry Hall of Honor.