Buckeye legend to speak at chamber dinner

Ohio State football legend Chris Spielman is the keynote speaker for the 2014 Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner March 10.

The dinner will be the 99th annual meeting of the Marietta Area Chamber.

Spielman is a two-time All American and 2009 inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame. Spielman played 11 seasons in the NFL including eight seasons with the Detroit Lions, earning a Pro-Bowl selection four times and a trip to the NFC Championship Game. Spielman also played two seasons with the Buffalo Bills and one season with the Cleveland Browns.

Tickets are on sale for the March 10 dinner and are $50 per person, which includes the social hour, a three-course meal and the community awards presentation. Reservations are required through the chamber at 373-5176 or at www.mariettachamber.com

The 99th annual meeting will be held at the Dyson-Baudo Recreation Center at Marietta College. Social hour begins at 5 p.m., dinner seating begins at 6:15 p.m. with a meal prepared by Parkhurst Catering served at 6:30 p.m. The program begins at 7 p.m.

Following dinner, the honorees for the Washington County Council of Cooperative Agricultural Award, the Zonta Elizabeth L. Hadler Woman of the Year Award, the Gabe Zide Citizen of the Year Award and the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year Award will be announced.

Spielman was raised in Massillon where he played for Massillon Washington High School and was an all-star linebacker. Appearing on a Wheaties box, Spielman was one of the youngest and perhaps the only high school athlete to receive such an honor.

Spielman is a College Football Analyst for ESPN and known for his hard hitting and accurate comments on the game and players. His memoirs, “That’s Why I’m Here,” was released in the spring of 2012 and is about his late wife, Stefanie, and family, faith and perseverance.

Stefanie, his high school sweetheart, lost a 12-year battle with breast cancer in November 2009. Together, they established the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research in 1999 and have raised more than $10 million for research.