This page is for internal staff and employees of COAAA.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone submit a nomination?  Yes. Nominations are submitted by friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, volunteers, clubs, businesses, government, elected officials and non-profit organizations. The individual or married couple nominated must live in the 8-county central Ohio area (Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway or Union) but the nominator(s) may live outside the eight counties. Self nominations are not accepted.

How can I check if someone is already in the Hall of Fame?  A list of past inductees appears on the website under Hall of Fame Inductees.

Can I nominate a group, club, agency or organization? No. The Hall of Fame only recognizes individuals.

What information should I include in the nomination?  Be as descriptive as possible. A resume or list of activities or memberships is not enough information for the committee to make a selection. Tips for preparing a winning nomination:

  • Write your nominee's inspiring story to touch the hearts of readers.
  • Describe your nominee's life since reaching the age of 60 and how he/she is a role model for active involvement in the community.
  • Be detailed and use complete sentences; your story is the only basis for selection; it will be used for the inductee's page in the program.
  • Include some dates / length of time for your nominee's involvement in activities.
  • optional - Enhance your nomination with letters of support from others who know the nominee (maximum of three letters).
  • Recognize your nominee for unpaid efforts (not a job).
  • Please do not send certificates, news clippings, photos, resumes or memorabilia.
  • No posthumous or self-nominations, please.

Can the nomination be a surprise?  No. Obtaining advance permission from the person you wish to nominate is required in case he or she will not be available for the portrait sitting in early April, the ceremony the third week in May, or in case the person does not want to accept the recognition.

How are the winners chosen?  Nominees are evaluated for their special contributions to the community after reaching the age of 60, for positively influencing others as role models, and for leading lives not defined by age. Their achievements may demonstrate commitments to formal organizations, including volunteerism, community service, leadership, church and charitable work, or informal efforts such as caregiving and giving a helping hand to neighbors. The selection committee is comprised of COAAA staff, a representative of the City of Columbus Recreation & Parks Department, and a member of the COAAA Advisory Council.

Will I receive notification when winners are announced?  Yes. Letters are sent to all nominees and nominators. If your nominee is selected for induction, you will also receive a phone call or e-mail message offering you the opportunity to deliver the good news personally and be the first to congratulate your nominee.

What is required of the winners?  Winners must be available for a professional portrait sitting in early April and be willing to participate in the Hall of Fame Ceremony at the Martin Janis Center, Columbus, on the third Wednesday in May at 1:00 p.m.

How are the winners recognized?  Inductees receive a personal recognition on stage from their county commissioners and other dignitaries, an individual portrait by a professional photographer, and a Hall of Fame lapel pin. The keepsake program distributed at the ceremony dedicates a full page to each inductee's story and photo. Friends, neighbors and family celebrate with their inductees at the professionally catered reception immediately following the ceremony. Throughout the year, monthly issues of the Senior Times feature a quarter-page Hall of Fame 'spotlight', with one spotlight devoted to each inductee. A number of local newspapers also cover Hall of Fame news in May with an interview of the inductee from that community.

Do I need an invitation to attend the Hall of Fame ceremony and reception?  No invitation is necessary. The event is open and free to the public.

Can I bring a group to the ceremony and reception?  Yes. Groups are welcomed and encouraged to attend. No invitation or reservation is necessary. The only requirement is for buses or vans to park in the overflow parking section after delivering passengers to the entrance. On-site staff will direct buses and vans to the appropriate parking area.

Where is the Hall of Fame located?  The permanent home of the Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame is the Martin Janis Center, 600 E. 11th Ave., Columbus. The 'wall of fame' displays plaques with the names and counties of the inductees for each year of the Hall of Fame, along with a display case of group photos from the most recent ceremonies. An historical album provides an alphabetical cross-reference of all inductees, as well as a printed program from each ceremony for the past 14 years. Each program features profiles and photos of the inductees for that year.

Is there a nomination form for the Outstanding Service to Seniors Award?  No. There is no external nomination or formal selection process for this award.

Hall of Fame - 2016 Inductees

Improving the Lives and Health of Others

From improving health care for minorities to clothing forgotten veterans and volunteering for overseas eye and vision ministries, the many remarkable accomplishments of older adults are in the spotlight for the 41st year of the Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.  The ceremony was held on May 18 in the Martin Janis Center, Columbus.

This year’s inductees range in age from 68 to 96. Presented annually by the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, the ceremony honors those who actively lead meaningful lives and enrich the quality of life for others.The 2016 inductees are:

Dee Watren volunteers three days a week as the hostess for a small Meals-on-Wheels dining center in a small village. Without her, the dining center might cease to exist, along with the opportunity for social interaction for the seniors who depend on it. Twice a week, she delivers meals door-to-door on two different Meals-on-Wheels routes. Some of the clients are amongst the most underprivileged in Delaware County.

Since 2008, Paul and Gwen Darfus have provided a combined average of 51 volunteer hours per month at FairHoPe Hospice and Palliative Care. Paul is often found welcoming visitors with warmth and compassion to Pickering House, an inpatient hospice care facility. Gwen cares for patients by tenderly cutting and styling their hair, making each patient feel precious and valuable. Volunteers gather at the Darfus home to assemble fleece blankets for the hospice patients.

Retired from teaching high school English, Kay Oughterson is a Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church and conducts services for pastors on vacation. She continues to enhance the lives of children through the Carnegie Public Library and shopping for gifts for ‘Spirits of Christmas for Kids’. Her service includes the Kiwanis Club (past president and division lieutenant governor) and Metropolitan Housing Board.

Through her leadership, Kathleen Busche has galvanized others to share their vitality, time and talents to help improve the lives and health of others. In 2013, she was recognized at the 50th Candy Cane Ball as the longest serving volunteer for her 52 years on the OhioHealth Grant Medical Center Women’s Service Board. For 30 years, she was dedicated to cancer charity initiatives raising funds for City of Hope.

Margaret Fauth has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her community for 30 years by faithfully delivering Meals-on-Wheels to the most vulnerable homebound members of the community each Friday. She often goes beyond her volunteer role and helps her clients with grocery shopping and running errands. On Tuesdays, she is at St. Lawrence Haven food pantry acting as Crew Chief.

At age 96, Glyde Marsh, DVM has been recognized as the oldest elected official in Ohio. Dr. Marsh retired from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985, but he never retired from community service. He has been elected to the New Albany City Council six times. Still a pre-eminent poultry veterinarian, he travels 20,000 miles a year across the country serving some of the same poultry clients he has had since 1950.

A retired nurse educator, Cora Munoz, PhD, RN focuses her volunteer efforts on facilitating the health care needs of Asians in Columbus. She has coordinated numerous health screenings and health education programs for the uninsured and underinsured, providing culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services. Currently, she is President of the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition and Chair of the Columbus Asian Festival board.

At age 94, Betty Meyer is an active community volunteer. A 37-year volunteer at Licking Memorial Hospital, she is currently the information desk coordinator. She and the other American Legion ladies visit the Veterans Home in Chillicothe twice a year to give the residents a party. Her personal “365 days a year” duty is collecting new or gently used clothes for the veterans because many were forgotten long ago by their families.

Rachel Powell encourages everyone to set their goals high and think “outside the box.” She has been the motivating force for the Licking County Humane Society’s Golf Outing and Fur Ball fundraisers, and instrumental in starting the Car Show and Chocolate Festival fundraisers at the Licking County Aging Program. A new volunteer passion is the Nazarene Fund for helping vulnerable Christian refugees from the Middle East.

Levi and Cora Miller make a difference in the lives of those who have been forgotten by society. Locally, they deliver Meals-on-Wheels on Fridays, work at the Country Closet Thrift Store two to four days a month, and Levi is involved in a Wheelchair Ramp Ministry. From 2007 through 2013, he assisted 2,500 to 6,000 patients in annual two-week trips to Nicaragua, Columbia and Peru as a Medical Ministry International volunteer.

Ula Jean Ater Metzler believes education makes the difference in a person’s life. She was the driving force for the County Board of Commissioners’ establishment of Pickaway H.E.L.P.S. (Higher Education Learning Partners for Students), a college access program for low-income, first-generation college students. The program also coordinates the ‘Kids on Campus’ summer education enrichment program for first through fourth grades.

At age 28, Lois Gruenbaum had a leg amputated because of cancer. Always high-energy, she charged ahead on crutches, raising four children, being employed, and contributing to her community. She was Secretary-Treasurer of the Marysville Memorial Day Committee for nearly 60 years and active on the Friends of the Library board and committees for Scenic Byways, Covered Bridge Festival and Veterans Memorial Monument.


Special thanks go to MediGold for its long-time support as Program Sponsor for this community event. Clossman Catering sponsored the entertainment. 



General Information

Nominees are evaluated for their significant contributions to the community after reaching the age of 60. Those selected for induction are role models for leading vibrant, meaningful lives and enriching the quality of life for others. Their compelling stories demonstrate lifelong commitments to causes, organizations and communities.

Inductees receive a Hall of Fame lapel pin, a framed portrait from a professional photographer, and a personal recognition on stage from county commissioners. A professionally catered reception with family and friends follows the ceremony.

The legacy of the Hall of Fame is to preserve and foster an appreciation for those remarkable individuals who helped to shape the future of our communities. Over 420 individuals have been inducted in the Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame since 1975

Any individual or organization may nominate a resident of Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway or Union County. Nominees must be 60 years of age or older and a legal resident of Ohio for the past five years or longer. A married couple may be nominated for one award if both have been equally involved in the same activities and both meet the eligibility criteria.


2016 Hall of Fame

The 41st annual Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame ceremony honored the accomplishments of 14 older adults on Wednesday, May 18, at the Martin Janis Center in Columbus. The Lenox Avenue Express jazz band performed and Colleen Marshall of NBC4 took the stage at 1:00 p.m. to host the recognition program. A reception followed with solo piano entertainment by Rick Soriano.


Special Thanks go to MediGold as Program Sponsor and Clossman Catering LLC as Entertainment Sponsor for the 41st Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame ceremony!    





For any questions, please contact the Hall of Fame Coordinator at 1-800-589-7277.

Frequently Asked Questions


FOR 2016

Current Inductees

Past Inductees



Hall of Fame Nomination Form


Hall of Fame - 2016 Ceremony

Improving the Lives and Health of Others

From improving health care for minorities to clothing forgotten veterans and volunteering for oversees eye and vision ministries, the many remarkable accomplishments of older adults are in the spotlight for the 41st year of the Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. The ceremony was on May 18 in the Martin Janis Center, Columbus.

The 2016 Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame inductees pose for a group photo before the Hall of Fame Ceremony.

The Lennox Street Express began the Hall of Fame festivities by putting on a great performance!

The procession of inductees makes their way to the front row.  They are greeted with applause from the audience!

Tony Collins, Director of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, addresses the crowd.

A special thank you to Colleen Marshall from NBC 4 for hosting another great Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame!

Hall of Fame inductees Gwen and Paul Darfus address the crowd during their acceptance speech.

Hall of Fame inductee Cora Munoz, PhD, RN addresses the crowd.

The guests enjoyed the great spread during the Hall of Fame reception.

Rick Soriano played piano for the guests at the reception.


Outstanding Service to Seniors Award

Congratulations to the Physical Therapy Team at OhioHealth for receiving the Outstanding Service to Seniors Award.  Pictured from left to right is Keavy McNaughton-James, PT, COAAA Director Cindy Farson, and Kara Rawlings, PT.




Special thanks go to MediGold for its long-time support as Program Sponsor for this community event. Clossman Catering sponsored the entertainment.