COLUMBUS - First Lady Karen Waldbillig Kasich and the Ohio Department of Aging will honor 17 couples for their dedication to marriage and volunteerism at the thirteenth annual Joined Hearts in Giving celebration, Tuesday, Feb. 14, at the governor's residence in Columbus. With its connection to Valentine's Day, Joined Hearts in Giving honors Ohioans who have been married 40 years or longer and who share a commitment to volunteerism and community service.
"These couples embody a level of commitment that should be celebrated," said Mrs. Kasich, the event's host. "Both as devoted spouses and volunteers, these 'Joined Hearts in Giving' are role models for us all."
"Volunteers are important to so many worthy social causes all over our state, but volunteerism also allows our elders to be vital members of their communities," said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the department. "'Joined Hearts in Giving' is about what happens when individuals have the opportunities and the intimate, personal support and love to grow, thrive and contribute."
The department solicited nominations for Joined Hearts in Giving during November, 2011. Those to be honored at the 2012 Joined Hearts in Giving reception range between 40 to 70 years married, 61 to 94 years old and from 1 to 65 years of volunteer service.
2012 Joined Hearts in Giving
Clark and June Armstrong of Cambridge, married 70 years, are active in their church and volunteer in community activities, such as the Kiwanis club, the community CROP Walk and the Living Word Amphitheater.
Chuck and Shirley Berry of Zanesville, married 55 years, teach dance classes at the Muskingum County Center for Seniors for more than nine years, and help at other events.
William and Barbara Burke of McDermott, married 40 years, sit with patients, deliver meals and raise funds for the SOMC Hospice Volunteer program.
Henry and Maryann Burwinkel of Cincinnati, married 56 years, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and are active in social justice and outreach activities through their church.
George and Pauline Coburn of McDermott, married 68 years, volunteer weekly with their church outreach and represent the Veterans Administration at local funerals.
Howard and Terri Daugherty of Hamersville, married almost 42 years, serve in the Bethel Lions Club, the local historical societies, the Disabled American Veterans and the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Paul and Dolores Eicher of West Salem, married 65 years, work with local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the school board, the West Salem Equity board, Meals and More, the Wayne County Care Center, farming and veteran's associations and more.
Donald and Kay Johnson of Jefferson, married 49 years, work together at Carington Park, where they support the spiritual needs of residents.
Ellis and Sheila L. Mascareno of Holland, married 44 years, serve together as Citizen Corps and RSVP volunteers, and they support programs of the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc.
Jim and Cathie Neuhart of Caldwell, married 48 years, are active volunteers in their church and they support the annual Soakum Festival in Noble County.
Stanford and Sheila Odesky of Toledo, married 48 years, volunteer for a range of causes in their community, including the arts, religious organizations, city and county government, national issues, schools and nonprofit groups.
Andy and Charlene Press of Solon, married 41 years, have volunteered with the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society since 1991.
Raymond and Florence Rose of Wooster, married 62 years, support many local organizations, including their church and Goodwill Industries, by helping out with fundraisers and educational activities.
Richard and Annette Rush of Grove City, married 50 years have led their church's Meals-on-Wheels program for twenty years.
Raymond and Bernadean Wagner of Heath, married 55 years, served as volunteer missions coordinators for the Ohio Southern Baptist Convention and traveled around Ohio to share their experiences as missionaries.
Del and Karol Wells of Lima, married 40 years, volunteer at Lima Memorial Health System and the LaFayette-Jackson Historical Society. They hosted more than 50 foster children, and a dozen international exchange students, over a 20 year period.
David and Lois Zoll of Fostoria, married 61 years, have been the primary forces behind the "Feed My Kids" summer lunch program, which served almost 3,000 meals to area children and families in 2011.
More detailed biographies of these honorees and their accomplishments are available online at www.aging.ohio.gov/news/joinedheartsingiving/. Photos will be posted after Feb. 14.
About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging works to ensure that our elders are respected as vital members of society who continue to grow, thrive and contribute. We work with state agencies and community partners, including area agencies on aging, to help integrate aging needs into local plans and ensure that aging Ohioans have access to a wide array of high-quality services and supports that are person-centered in policy and practice. Our programs include the PASSPORT Medicaid waiver, caregiver support, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.
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