D-Day Conneaut began in 1999 when a small group of reenactors set out to "relive the day" of the Normandy invasion the beach at Conneaut Park. Initially, this was not a public event, though park visitors had the opportunity to watch the reenactment from the bluff overlooking the beach.
Today D-Day Ohio's all volunteer staff
works year around to make D-Day Conneaut
the largest and most historically
accurate D-Day Living History
Reenactment in the country. Thank you to
all our reenactors and volonteers that
work so hard to make this event
possible. All staff members are
staff and volunteer code of conduct
regulations prior to participation at
2021 Staffing is currently being assigned. If you have any questions, please contact one of our Board of Directors.
A 25 year plus veteran of living history, Betsy has actively participated in event management for over 60 various living history events and is a frequent speaker at early 19th century living history conferences. Betsy has assisted with D-Day Conneaut since 2006. Captivated by the heroism of combat photographers in WWII and the impact of photography and motion picture art on the war effort, she recreates a WWII era photo lab at several events. Also interested in women's contributions in warfare, she frequently portrays a US army nurse.
Owner/Operator of Biscotti's Restaurant, Conneaut, OH. As a supporter of the event since its inception, Lori has seen it evolve into the premier reenactment it is today. In 2009, she responded to a request for more local support and has since been managing an energetic group of local supporters involved in fundraising, marketing, procurement of goods, living history displays, and other various volunteer tasks needed by the organization. Having lived in Conneaut her entire life, she is a self-proclaimed cheerleader for the city and is involved with many community organizations serving on several local boards. Her community service was recently rewarded by being voted the Chamber of Commerce 2010 Citizen of the Year.
Jennifer Palagyi is the franchisee owner of H & R Block in Conneaut for the past 16 years and has been doing taxes for 22 years. She has joined D-Day and will help support the financial management of the organization. We have three additional volunteers who will assist in general or specifically with finance items (Chris Heim -- direct donations, David Owens - grants, and Anne O'Dae - TBD) along with Patti Rowbotham who has been helping with the records management.
Deb comes from a long line of history enthusiasts and when she attended D-Day Conneaut as a young girl in the early 2000’s, she knew she’d found her niche. The event became a yearly staple activity for her and her family until finally in 2012 the desire to become a part of it drove her to purchase her first original Army Nurse Corp uniform and volunteer in an effort to help the event grow in any way she could. Since then she has helped in almost every aspect of its massive undertaking, and even though she attends many other WWII events throughout the year, her first love has always remained D-Day Conneaut. Her impressions now include Army Nurse Corp (ANC), United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve (USMCWR), Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) , French Resistance combatant, civilian and USO entertainer.
Rob is a 30+ year veteran of living history, both in a volunteer capacity and professionally. Rob has participated in Conneaut D-Day landings since 2002 and has served as a member of the event staff for 5. An avid researcher, Rob finds studying the narratives of WWII soldiers an enriching experience that provides a glimpse of the trials of the common GI. The written and personal perspectives of WWII veterans have helped him frame reenacted vignettes to better share their legacy with their families and communities. Rob is assisting in the restoration of PA 36-9, a Higgins boat located at Old Fort, OH.
Wayne Heim joined D-Day Conneaut in 2009 and currently serves on the Board of Governors and involved with may different aspects of the event. Wayne is a certified medical illustrator and photographer with many years of experience in the advertising and marketing field. Wayne currently maintains the D-Day Ohio website, is our Primary PR contact, and is involved in coordination the production of the promotional materials for D-Day Conneaut and is one of the artists that produce the many art pieces. Wayne also manages and serves as one of our Event Photographers and can be found in the Media Tent or wandering the grounds with camera(s) in hand. Please contact Wayne with any media, photography or PR questions.
Bio to follow.
Reenacting since 2003, Eric's focus at D-Day Conneaut lies in remembering his great uncle, Amin Isbir, killed on June 6, 1944 while serving with the 6th Naval Beach Battalion. Amin's story, as well as additional family members, can be found on Montgomery's web site at www.soldiersandsailors.us. Eric was the keynote speaker at thee National D-Day Memorial in Bedford Virginia on June 6th, 2012. He also designs our D-Day Conneaut Challenge Coins, promotional videos and is involved with a number of other fund raising activities. During the event you can reach Eric at the Naval Beach Battalion Bunker or in the Veterans Hospitality Tent.
A 50 plus year resident of the Conneaut area, I began volunteering with D-Day Ohio in 2016 continuing a 40 year history of community involvement assisting local non profits fulfill their mission. My work experience includes 17 years as Manager of the Conneaut Operation of SGS SA (the world’s largest independent testing and inspection company), Realtor, Director of Youth and Outreach Ministries for Messiah Lutheran Church, and long time small business owner. My interest in WWII history began at a young age upon learning my Dad flew combat missions, including the bombing of Berlin, as a waist gunner on B-24s with the 8th Air Force. Seven of my Uncles also served during WWII: Uncle George landed on Utah Beach on D-Day with the first wave of the 4th Infantry Division, was severely wounded during a mortar attack on D-Day+18, and subsequently lost his leg; Uncle Jerry flew 50 combat missions as a B-17 tail gunner; Uncle Carlton flew combat missions as a Marine pilot in the Pacific Theater; Uncle Bob was in the Air Corps weather service stationed in Iceland, Uncle Phillip saw combat in both the European and Pacific Theaters, Uncle Millard served in Europe with the Quartermaster Corps, and Uncle Don saw combat in the Pacific Theater and served in the Army of Occupation of Japan. The saying “most people never meet their Heroes, I was raised by mine” keeps me focused on assisting D-Day Ohio to do all we can to ensure subsequent generations remember the service and sacrifices of America’s “Greatest Generation.”
40+ years of experience developing a unique set of management, sales, production and marketing skills in all phases of the horticultural industry and at the highest level. The development and implementation of operational and management capabilities are unequalled and well positions me for any challenge at any level.
Patti is a Conneaut native who lived in Trumbull County for 30 years and returned to town in 2008. She began work with the committee in 2010, working at registration and information booth, taking minutes for meetings, distributing literature and doing record keeping tasks. She enjoys history and research and has researched and written some of the material displayed on the historical boards in the park She has served as a Coordinator of Gifted Education, church day camp director, substitute teacher, and graduate assistant at Youngstown State and Kent State Universities. Her mother worked at Indiantown Gap, PA, as a civilian employee and it is there that she met Patti's father before he left for the South Pacific.