2007 - MERITORIOUS
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
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.