Annual DeBartolo Dinner Auction Draws Large Crowd

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — More than 450 people attended the Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Scholarship Foundation’s Annual Celebrity Dinner Auction Thursday night at the Covelli Centre in support of the scholarships the foundation gives to students in the Valley every year.

“This is a scholarship that goes out to young people in need and these are kids that potentially come back and are rooted here in Youngstown,” said Dr. John York, who along with his wife, Denise, host the dinner.

Among the celebrities at the dinner were Franco Harris, who played for Penn State University and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, rushing for more than 12,000 yards, scoring 91 touchdowns and helping them win four Super Bowl titles.

Over 60 different items were auctioned at the event with all proceeds donated towards the scholarships.

The live auction included package winnings for a trip to a San Francisco 49ers home game and another package auctioned for a trip to Super Bowl LII. The silent auction included “over the top” items such as a Notre Dame football weekend package, Joe Mineo creative-party or holiday decorations (up to a $5,000 value) and a Handel’s ice cream truck for a 200 guest party. Other items auctioned at the event were organized into three categories: Entertainment Fun, Sports and Wine and Spirits.

Denise’s father, Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., started the dinner to raise funds in support of furthering education in the Valley. For the past 20 years, John and Denise have run the dinner to honor his belief “that all students who have demonstrated intensity and desire should be afforded the opportunity to receive a college education,” York said.

The foundation has awarded more than $960,000 in scholarships since it was established, including $125,000 this year.

Logan Foster, a recipient of the scholarship in 2013 attended the dinner and thanked the foundation for helping him attend Baldwin Wallace University. “I know with this scholarship fund that dreams of people just like me, here in the Valley will be able to come true,” Foster said.

Foster graduated with a bachelor of arts in marketing, arts management and theater. Going to Baldwin Wallace provided him the experience of working for a Grammy-award winning record label and marketing Broadway concerts at Playhouse Square in Cleveland.

“He didn’t attend Harvard, he didn’t attend Stanford, but he graduated from Baldwin Wallace University and the contacts he already made are amazing,” York said. “When you’re thinking about kids in this Valley and they have curiosity, an imagination, and a will to work. Any kid can be successful.”

Recipients are determined by academic achievement, community involvement and financial need. On May 18, Denise DeBartolo York, representing the scholarship foundation, awarded 20 students scholarships — totaling $125,000.

“Those are the kids we’d love to see grow up and be a part of Youngstown because they are the life blood of what this community needs,” said York.

Pictured: Dr. John York speaking at the dinner.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.