COLUMBUS - The Ohio Department of Aging, the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging and members of the Ohio General Assembly honored ten accomplished older Ohioans - who have definitely made aging their business - with induction into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame during a special ceremony today in Columbus.
"Ohio's growing and changing older population presents both challenges and opportunities for our state and our communities," said Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D., director of the department. "The Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame celebrates Golden Buckeyes who continue to grow, thrive and contribute throughout their lives, and who are leaders, advocates and role models. They demonstrate the many ways our elders are a precious resource for our state, nation and beyond."
This year's honorees have elevated Ohio and their communities to the national and international stage, as well as created and fostered opportunities for their neighbors to live "Well Beyond 60."
2016 Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame Inductees:
Elevating Ohio and their communities to the national and international stage
Al Abrams (posthumous), Findlay - Al is regarded as an "international music industry public relations icon" who helped launch an American institution, Motown Records, and served as the company's first publicist. Throughout his life and career, he ensured that the legacy of black history and black music was honored worldwide.
John Eicher, Oxford - John is a professor emeritus of chemistry who worked on notable endeavors including the Hughes Laboratories and the Manhattan Project. A perpetual learner, John is active today in Miami University's Institute for Learning in Retirement, both as a teacher and a student.
Annie Glenn, Columbus - Annie overcame a debilitating stuttering problem at age 53. Since then, she has been an advocate for speech and hearing therapy. Her courage and example have inspired countless others with communicative disorders, and she has worked diligently to promote effective therapies.
Caroline N. Luhta, Concord Township - Connie, as she is known in her community, has served seven terms as Concord Township trustee and has spent most of her life operating Concord Air Park. She works to preserve the history of fellow women in aviation through her work with the International Women's Air & Space Museum in Cleveland, as well as public speaking.
Gloria J. Renda, Steubenville - Gloria worked for 27 years as librarian in Jefferson County Schools and, through various endeavors, has helped bring literacy to countless neighbors. She led efforts to restore a one-room brick school house and create a unique learning experience for community students. She expands her reach by teaching English internationally in Italy, Spain and Mexico.
Creating and fostering opportunities for neighbors to live "Well Beyond 60"
Sister Jerome Corcoran, Canfield - Sister Jerome has been a guardian angel for those less fortunate in her community. She developed programs to support children in school and help adults develop reading and job skills. She founded the Millcreek Children's Center, which she directed for 36 years, and recently retired from another labor of love, Sister Jerome's Mission.
Michael E. Jackson, Tipp City - A retired Air Force lt. colonel, Mike is executive director emeritus of the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton. He helped honor Vietnam veterans with national and local Operation Welcome Home celebrations, and established the American Veterans Institute to help fellow veterans and their families access valuable benefits.
Yung-Chen Lu, Ph.D., Columbus - Dr. Lu had an esteemed career in mathematics and is currently a professor emeritus at The Ohio State University. He co-founded the Chinese American Association of Central Ohio and helped established a free clinic for those unable to speak English. He is the inspirational force behind the Columbus Asian Festival, regarded as the largest in the U.S.
Sandra L. Ogle, Rockbridge - Sandy has served her community both as a township trustee and a county commissioner. She advocates for resources, programs and funding to fight opiate drug addiction in her community and across the nation, and provides opportunities for those in recovery. She advocates for elders through the local senior center, area agency on aging and adult protective services taskforce.
E.J. Thomas, New Albany - E.J. is a retired Air Force colonel and pilot. He served eight terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, where he helped transform health care in Ohio. Since retiring from the legislature, he has lead Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio to become one of the nation's premiere organizations providing housing assistance for those in need.
Access detailed bios and photographs of these inductees at www.aging.ohio.gov/news/halloffame.
The Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame honors individuals age 60 and older who are native-born Ohioans or who have been Ohio residents for at least 10 years. Nominations are evaluated on the impact of current contributions or a continuation of work and accomplishments begun before age 60. This year's inductees range in age from 64 to 100. More than 450 individuals have been inducted into the hall since 1977.
The induction ceremony is part of the department's month-long celebration of Older Americans Month, with the theme: "Aging. It's Everybody's Business." The agency, its aging network and state agency partners encourage all Ohioans to make choices that help them and their loved ones live "Well Beyond 60" and continue to have and provide opportunities for everyone to grow, thrive and contribute. Learn more at www.aging.ohio.gov.
About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging works to ensure that Ohio is on the leading edge of innovation in responding to the growing and changing aging population. We work with state agencies, area agencies on aging and other local partners 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, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.
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