A Deep Love for the Magic of Fireworks

Posted 07/01/21 by Oglebay Foundation

Celebrations offer wonderful opportunities to establish holiday traditions that will be passed from one generation to the next. Kay and Albert Schenk’s highest priorities were family and community and part of their family legacy is their love of Independence Day.

Albert loved the Fourth of July and fireworks. Kay loved bringing the whole family together, so July 4th festivities at their Marshall County home were big celebrations. The evening always concluded with a grand fireworks display arranged by Albert for the children and grandchildren. Family stories include some legendary mishaps, including a Ford Bronco going up in flames!

The Schenk family have been generous and steadfast donors to Wheeling and Oglebay Parks. Kay and Albert spent their lifetimes giving back to the Wheeling community quietly and never seeking the spotlight. It took a great deal of persuasion by Wheeling Park Commission president and CEO Earl Gaynor to convince the Schenks to name Oglebay’s new lake in memory of Albert’s parents in 1953.

After Kay and Albert passed away their family sought a fitting memorial to honor them in a unique and personal way. The family’s goal was to recognize Kay and Albert for their impact on the entire Ohio Valley. The ideal memorial was to sponsor Oglebay’s Salute to Patriotism event, held every July 3rd on the banks of the lake that bears the family’s name.

Brooke Wetmore, Kay and Albert’s granddaughter, reflected on seeing all the people gathered at the lake each year:

“Oglebay’s Salute to Patriotism brings thousands of people together from all over the Ohio Valley to celebrate our freedoms, community and family traditions. The very things that we celebrate at Oglebay on the 3rd are core values that my grandparents believed in and instilled in me and my family.”

If you are in Wheeling on July 3rd, come experience our Salute to Patriotism and make it one of your family’s traditions to start your summer with a bang!


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