2007 – MERITORIOUS SERVICE
Washington High School
A lifelong commitment to youth sports and the greater community of Washington has left its mark on all of those he helped over the past 50 plus years. This is a man that is a leader and when called for a great follower. He is always ready to lend a hand to those in need.
In 1956 he and his brother Pete began coaching midget football at the Brownson House. For over 20 years he was an active coach for Fifth Ward and later First & Fifth Ward schools, here he honed the necessary skills and communications by mentoring hundreds of our youth in football and everyday life.
In 1972 Celani became a member of the Brownson House Board of Directors and served as Board Treasurer six years and Board President for two years. He also coached Bronco and Pony baseball and served as President of Washington PONY Baseball in 1972.
In 1976 he began the first of two terms served on the Washington City Council. He co-¬chaired the Greater Washington Parks and Recreation committee for eight years (1976-1984). During those years he led the way in securing grant of$170,000 for a new swimming pool, $98,000 for a new road access and $25,000 for up-grades to the PONY and Colt Fields.
As a community leader he helped organize the Bassettown Festival and the Italian Heritage Festival for several years during the eighties in downtown Washington. Recently he along with others organized a Fabulous Fifties Dance for all those graduated from Washington High School during the 1950’s. These dances were well received and have grown to draw interest from Trinity, Immaculate Conception, Canon-McMillan and McGuffey High alumni.
Rich is a local artist of note and lends his talent to local several non-profit organizations by painting original works and allowing those organizations to use prints of the original works for fund raising activities. These organizations include Brownson House, Immaculate Conception Church, First Methodist Church, Washington Park, Washington High School Class of ‘54, Washington High Booster Club, Trinity High Class of ‘54. His illustrations have graced Washington & Jefferson College’s Alumni Guide and Student Handbook.
Rich Is Vice President, Washington / Greene Chapter, P.S.H.F. and is a member of the Executive Committee.