The Tri-State area will have the privilege of hearing from a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings this spring.Rebekah Gregory is scheduled to share her message as the next speaker in the Herald-Star, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Speaker Series. Her presentation will take place on April 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Steubenville High School Auditorium.
As Gregory waited for her then-boyfriend Pete’s mom to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon, the first bomb went off and Rebekah was thrown on top of her son. She was severely injured, breaking nearly every bone in her left foot, leg and ankle after being struck by shrapnel from the home-made explosive device.
Pete suffered loss of 90 percent of his right Achilles tendon and had to have reconstructive surgery on his eardrums.
Gregory faced almost 20 surgeries to repair the damage before doctors in Houston amputated her leg below the knee last November.
As Gregory continues to recover from her injuries nearly two years later, she plans to compete in the Boston Marathon Tribute Run in April, which she participated in last year while in her wheelchair. This year, she plans on running with a blade on her left leg.
“We are excited about being able to present Rebekah as the next speaker in our series,” said Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. “Her message is one of hope and of defying the odds, one of not wanting to back down in the face of adversity.”
Rebekah, Noah and Pete live in Richmond, Texas. She plans to tell her story in a book which is expected to be published later this year.
Reserved seat tickets will cost $20 for one ticket or $30 for two tickets if they are purchased in advance. All tickets will cost $25 if purchased at the door prior to the presentation.
Reserved seat tickets for Gregory’s appearance are available now by visiting heraldstaronline.com and following the links to the speaker series. Tickets will be available at the Herald-Star office, 401 Herald Square, during regular business hours beginning Monday. Call (740) 283-4711 for details. Organizers have announced special ticket pricing for Gregory.
Area school students will have the opportunity to receive general admission balcony tickets to the presentation at no charge, courtesy of Cattrell Cos. Inc. Students who are interested in participating in this special offer should contact their school administrators.
VIP tickets are available at a cost of $100 for one ticket or $150 for two tickets.
That package includes admission to a private reception with Gregory at the Bayberry House Bed and Breakfast; cocktails and hors d’oeuvres; the opportunity to meet Gregory and have a photograph taken with her that will be autographed and sent to each attendee; a ticket to the presentation with preferred seating; and transportation to and from the Bayberry House and Steubenville High School.
A commemorative “Boston Strong” wristband will be included with each reserved seat or VIP ticket sold, while supplies last.
For more ticket information or to purchase a VIP package, call (740) 283-4711 during regular business hours.
Sponsors for the series include: the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Trinity Health System, Cattrell Cos. Inc., Eastern Gateway Community College and WTRF-TV. Special support is being provided by Bayberry House Bed and Breakfast. Piergallini Catering, Steubenville High School, Newbrough Photo and Hertz-Thrifty Car Rental.
Past speakers include:
– Nov. 12, 2012: Clint Hill, the former Secret Service agent who protected Jacqueline Kennedy, and Lisa McCubbin, co-author of Hillás book “Mrs. Kennedy and Me.”
– April 9, 2013: Former CIA agents Antonio and Jonna Mendez. The efforts of Antonio Mendez to rescue six U.S. diplomats from Iran in 1980 were dramatized in the Academy Award-winning film Argo.
– April 3, 2014: Richard Phillips, whose ordeal at the hands of Somali pirates was the inspiration for the film “Captain Phillips.”
– Sept. 11, 2014: Retired Col. Mark Tillman, a former commander of Air Force One who was at the controls of the storied Boeing 747 on Sept. 11, 2001, and was charged with keeping President George W. Bush safe. The presentation included a remembrance of the lives lost on Sept. 11 and a salute to area military personnel and first responders.