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Ohio Community Hall Of Fame


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Alice Michel, Centerville, Ohio.  Winning Samaritan: You’re Never Too Old to be a Winner Eight-four year-old Alice, blind with limited mobility, longed to visit her girlhood friend now imprisoned by advanced dementia. Not wanting to see this iconic family friend so fiendishly incapacitated, her adult children refused to take Alice for the visit. Undaunted, Alice was determined to have a final farewell, convincing her caregiver to drive. Alice’s courageous outreach and undying devotion brought Dottie out of the depths of dementia for a brief time, long enough to say goodbye. By Karen Ander Francis

Bernie Saggau, West Des Moines, Iowa. Winning Citizen: The retired executive director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. Bernie came up with the idea for the Iowa Hall of Pride which is now a main attraction at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines. Saggau is 79, retired, and a big advocate of high school sports. He is an excellent candidate for the Winners Within story for your magazine. By Randy Mudgett

Dr. Chris Hanners. Chillicothe Ohio. Winning Citizen:  Chris is a Winner because he had a dream of having organized baseball in Chillicothe and he made that dream a reality and because aside from his baseball aspirations, Dr. Hanners has provided great hospitality to people who have sorely needed it. Fun and affordable family entertainment is the motto the Chillicothe Paints live by, and that holds true. It also helps that Dr. Hanners is a successful dentist in Piketon, Ohio as he has made people smile in that line of work too. By Steven Vitte

Devin Rohr, Massillon, Ohio. Winning Athlete: A young basketball player, named Devin Rohr, never got his shot to prove himself to the coach that he could start until halfway through the season. He was the best player on the entire J.V. team and he just wanted to prove it. Later in the season the coach finally started him because they started winning more games when he was in. He became the team’s highest scorer every game and in the last game of the season, he put up the all time highest amount of points anyone has scored all the whole year. More details about his amazing last game for the season will be told in the full story.By Dylan Leone

Everyday Blue Collar People, Wapakoneta, Ohio, Winning Citizens: The real winners in my community are your everyday blue collar people. These are the industrial workers that never get the real pat on the back that they are so deserving of!! How many of these people work long hours, mandatory overtime, even a majority of holidays?! All this just to get by and give their families security. These people are the real heroes of the US and it is time they get their 15 minutes of fame or at least let the rest of the world know they are not alone!!! By Shannon Spencer

Gerry Hammond, Columbus, Ohio.  Winning Teacher: Gerry is a PGA Golf pro who spends his time giving lessons to youngsters in the community that are at risk youth with few opportunities to particpate in programs that more fortunate children take for granted. He’s a true humanitarian in every sense. A uniquely talented man who could easily take advantage of his natural gifts and unlimited list of contacts, but has spent the vast majority of his time teaching/mentoring the less fortunate in our community both through his own means & through programs like The first Tee. By David W Morris

Khalid Samad, Cleveland, Ohio. Winning Benefactor: He is the co-founder, president and chief executive of Peace in the Hood, a non-profit organization here in Cleveland. He heads off problems in the inner-city by steering combatants toward peaceful solutions. One particular gang summit resulted in a long-lasting peace. Problems persist, but Samad has remain vigilant. He has also been a role model to his four daughters, all of whom are college graduates. By Martin Gitlin

Liz Ferro, Rocky River, Ohio, Winning Citizen/Humanitarian: Ferro is the founder of the Girls with Sole program. Their mission is to use free fitness and wellness programs to empower the minds, bodies and souls of girls who are at-risk or have experienced abuse of any kind. This program is free of charge for the girls and includes a comprehensive curriculum, as well as, running shoes, sports bras, water bottle, race entries, and more! By Jennifer Caccamo

Lonnie Turner, Ashtabula, Ohio. Winning Samaritan: Lonnie Turner is in the process of opening up a non-profit Christian-based halfway house in Ashtabula, Ohio called the Door of Hope. The women who stay at the Door of Hope are looking to turn their lives around after having been in prison for non-violent crimes. They can also be women who are in abusive situations. She helps rehabilitate these women. The halfway house is 100% donation-funded, and she raises funds by cooking meals for Ashtabula residents. By Amber Riippa

Mark and Ruth Palmer, Oberlin, Ohio. Winning Benefactors: The Palmers began a company named It’s All Live. This company provides on-line tutoring service for students who are considered high risk. Each child receives a free computer from the company to get them started. They are true innovators and other companies have copied their ideas. By Papillon

Neal Wilds, Cleveland, Ohio, Winning Benefactor: At one time he was the most powerful minister in Cleveland and is now a well-known, generous philanthropist world-wide. He was sent in 1985 by the Methodist Church to Cleveland to help reverse the devastating poverty consuming Cleveland during the closing of the steel mills. He tirelessly campaigned for and helped to design and implement a complete overhaul of the school board. He helped to create open and finance outreach hunger centers throughout the city. He leased an acre of gardens over 20 years ago in Cleveland’s largest community garden and donates thousands of pounds of fresh produce yearly to families and hunger centers. Neil has paid utility companies thousands of dollars out of pocket to keep the heat on for the handicapped, elderly and the poor. His dedication to the cause of civil rights is legendary. Neal retired from the pulpit after 50 years of service, yet he still champions the cause of those less fortunate. By Teresa Clark

Terry Salvador, Perrysburg Ohio.  Winner Against the Odds: He was in a horrible car accident last year that left him in a wheel chair (paralyzed from the waist down).  What happened to him did not stop him in making new friends in a completely new city and state for that matter after he was released from the hospital.  You see, Terry was living in West Virginia, and they were visiting my family here in Ohio the weekend he was in that terrible accident.  They did not even make it out of Perrysburg when they hit another car head on.  Terry was then life flighted to the Toledo Hospital where he “lived” for two months.  Terry had to start over with his life in a new state and city and in a new body altogether at the very young age of ten!  Having to start over, however, did not stop him from being able to inspire everyone he met.  He immediately made friends with everyone in his new class and got the title of “class comedian” by the end of the year.  He also started taking karate, which he never did before he was in a wheel chair, and earned his yellow belt after only two months! He never complains about his situation, nor does he let it define him as a person.  He looks at each new day as a great possibility of what is to come, and that is what makes him an inspiration to us all! By Frances Barror

William D Hall, Twinsburg, Ohio. Winning Citizen:
William Hall is 79 years strong! As a young man growing up in the racially charged south, he dug wells until he was able to move north to begin his first business and he has been a self made success every since. Very active in the community and his church, he has utilized ‘hard to employ’ individuals and has given many of them a second hope at not only making an honest living, but gaining self esteem. As a multiple business owner, Mr. Hall still arrives to work every morning before anyone else! He has shared his success over the years. He even provided homes for several deserving families in our community through his real estate development projects. Mr. Hall is a person truly deserving of a nomination. By Kishia Williamson