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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 - 2017 Inductees

Improving the Lives and Health of Others

From visiting senior centers and nursing homes to delivering meals and advocating for those who are unable to do so for themselves, the many remarkable accomplishments of older adults are in the spotlight for the 42nd year of the Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held on May 17 in the Martin Janis Center, Columbus.

This year’s inductees range in age from 65 to 89. 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 2017 inductees are:

Dr. Paul Whetstone and Dr. Anna Marie Stahly Whetstone are pillars of the Fairfield County community of Millersport.  They delivered more than 900 babies during their time of practicing medicine.  Dr. Anna Whetstone was the first female physician in all of Fairfield County.  Both have served their community outside of medicine by supporting the local school system, the arts and the church.

The effort that Jack Scott devotes to the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center (CRC) is truly remarkable.  He volunteers nearly 40 hours a week at CRC’s Choice Food Pantry.  He makes sure the food inventory is organized, sorted and well displayed for the hundreds of people who visit the pantry on a daily basis.  Jack plays a huge role in helping the CRC serve thousands of people every year.

Cleveland and Bobbyette Sanders are passionate about giving back to the community.  Both volunteer at LifeCare Alliance by delivering meals to homebound seniors.  Clients who have been sent to the hospital can expect a visit from Cleveland until they return home.  Bobbyette has tutored in Columbus Public Schools, packaged and distributed food to the needy and cleaned, provided meals and activities at the Ronald McDonald House and YMCA Family Shelter. 

Beverly j. Mullen shows a great commitment to our nation’s veterans by volunteering her time to publicize and further the events of veteran organizations through local news outlets.   Bev was a crisis line volunteer for Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center and is the co-founder of the Fayette County Child Assault Prevention Project.  She is a journalist for the Record Herald in Washington Court House and is an award winning artist. 

Judy Dodson has more than 50 years of service both professionally and as a volunteer in the community.  She coordinates shopping and travel activities for seniors and others as the Activities Director for Corban Commons Senior Apartment Community.  Judy coordinates food baskets monthly for frail elderly persons in the community.  She served in the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department for more than 30 years.

The distance that Bud Rannebarger has driven as a volunteer for SourcePoint is exceptional.  He has driven more than 8,000 miles while transporting older adults in Delaware County to and from medical appointments.  That distance is the equivalent from Columbus to Anchorage Alaska.  He even goes above and beyond for one client by accompanying him twice weekly for his dialysis appointments which averages between 4 ½ to 6 hours.

Nancy Wadley has served in many capacities for the Ohio River Valley Team of the American Field Service (AFS), an organization that provides international and cultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools and communities.  During her involvement with AFS, more than 1,000 high school students have been hosted by Central Ohio families.  Often through church involvement, Nancy has helped individuals in the community who are in need.

Mel and Anne Daniel have made time to visit nursing homes and senior centers around Union county and surrounding counties.  Both have volunteered at the Inner City Mission in Columbus where they prepared and served Christmas Eve dinner at the mission for more than 20 years; feeding between 350-450 people.  Anne plays the accordion and does standup senior humor for others at Memorial Hospital while Mel visits with individuals.

As a guardian to countless seniors in Licking County, Sondra Knerr advocates for those who are unable to do so for themselves.  Sondra works tirelessly as an advocate on behalf of her wards and aspires to improve their quality of life.  She has made it her mission to ensure that those who can no longer protect and speak for themselves are given a voice.

Veronica Sforza devotes her time to volunteering in the Licking County community.  She teaches the Matter of Balance classes to seniors which focuses on falls prevention.  A non-profit that is near and dear to Veronica is Karis’ Cause which is part of the American Childhood Cancer Organization.  Karis’ Cause is fighting for a cure for childhood cancer.  Veronica volunteered many hours by helping with a fundraiser for the organization which eventually raised more than $10,000. 

Jerry Miller makes a big difference in Madison County through his work on trails and nature preserves.  He has worked with volunteers in clearing brush, cutting trees and removing invasive species near trails.  Jerry invented a machine to cut roots and has shared his invention with other groups.  He was nominated to the Board of Directors of the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails.  


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 430 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.


2017 Hall of Fame

The 42nd annual Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame honored the accomplishments of 14 older adults on Wednesday, May 17, at the Martin Janis Center in Columbus. The Soriano Duo 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 42nd 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 2017

Current Inductees

Past Inductees



Hall of Fame Nomination Form


Hall of Fame - 2017 Ceremony

Improving the Lives and Health of Others

From visiting nursing homes and senior centers to delivering meals and advocating for those who are unable to do so for themselves, the many remarkable accomplishments of older adults are in the spotlight for the 42nd year of the Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. The ceremony was on May 17 in the Martin Janis Center, Columbus.

The 2017 Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame inductees pose for a group photo before the Hall of Fame Ceremony.  Photo credit:  Associated Photographers

Framed professional portraits of the 2017 Hall of Fame inductees.

Cindy Farson, Director of the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, began the ceremony by welcoming everyone in attendance.

Columbus City Councilmember Jaiza Page speaks to the crowd at the Hall of Fame ceremony.

Hall of Fame inductee Jack Scott addresses the crowd during his acceptance speech.

Hall of Fame inductees Cleveland and Bobbyette Sanders address the crowd.

The guests enjoyed a great food during the Hall of Fame reception.

Rick Soriano played piano for the guests at the reception.

Outstanding Service to Seniors Award

Congratulations to Besa for receiving the Outstanding Service to Seniors Award.  Pictured from left to right is Besa Executive Director Matthew Goldstein, COAAA Director Cindy Farson and Ian Estep, Manager, Engagement at Besa.  Photo credit:  Associated Photographers




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