Columbus 60 Strong Calendar

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The Columbus 60 Strong Contest sought to find twelve ambassadors in their 60’s who represent what it truly means to be inspiring in mind, body or spirit and appear on a special Columbus 60 Strong calendar. A panel of celebrity judges had the task of selecting just twelve Ohio residents out of many entries. The winners have diverse backgrounds and interests, but they all believe in living life to the fullest, maintaining a positive attitude no matter what adversities may get in their way, and place family, faith and community at the top of their priority list. We hope these twelve winners will inspire you!

When you purchase a limited-edition 60Strong calendar, all the proceeds go to benefit the Parkinson’s Foundation Ohio Chapter non-profit. Calendars are only $15; click the button below to purchase today!”

Introducing the Columbus 60 Strong Contest Winners!

Becky Murray

October 6th, 1957

Westerville, OH


Becky Murray grew up amidst the country air on a farm in Chillicothe, Ohio. Now 60 years old, she still enjoys the outdoors—including gardening and a bit of bicycling. Becky, who is married with two daughters, works at a promotional products business—The Callard Company. In her quiet time she takes pleasure in reading; socializing with friends is also something that makes her smile.

Something else near to Becky’s heart is her volunteer work. She devotes time to the Christ Child Society, a national organization that assists underpriviledged children, providing meals, layettes for newborns, as well as prenatal classes for pregnant women. Becky, who has lived in Columbus for 20 years, often volunteers at her church and helps with fundraising for her children’s former high school. She recounts fond memories of a recent family vacation in Italy where they enjoyed roaming the Amalfi Coast and exploring the winding roads.

Becky had an extraordinary health challenge when she was too young to comprehend what was happening—she had open heart surgery at the age of 4. Actually, she was one of the first people in Columbus to have such a surgery…and she is still going strong. To keep herself that way, Becky ensures that she eats healthy, walks, and above all is not sedentary. She believes in living life to its fullest. “Give the world your best and the best will come back to you,” says Becky.


Bill Davidge

April 1st, 1954

Grove City, OH


Bill Davidge has been a broadcaster for the National Hockey Leagues Columbus Blue Jackets since 1999. At the end of the day, he doesn’t only consider himself a sports broadcaster. He also considers himself an ambassador for his disease. Bill was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2014, and he uses his platform in the public eye to raise awareness and funds for the blood plasma disease.

Golf has always been a big part of Bills life, having golfed with his family for as long as he can remem-ber. Bill takes his love for golf and has participated in over 35 celebrity golf tournaments. Here he has raised money for multiple organizations, ranging from children, to the Red Cross, to autism. In the last 3 years Bill has helped raise over 50,000 dollars for Multiple Myeloma research alone.

Living with a type of cancer that cannot be treated, Bill has looked to his faith, prayer, and family for support. Bill is truly inspiring as he always lives each and everyday to the fullest. He is constantly reminding others to treat people the way they want to be treated because life is to short.


Carol Owen

October 18th, 1951

Westerville, OH


Carol grew up in Sturgis, Michigan and moved to Columbus nine years ago to help take care of her young grandchildren. She and her husband have a large family that includes eight children and 16 grandchildren. Carol is very active in her community and at her church. She performs volunteer work for a local food program that provides meals to children in local schools. When she isn’t volunteering or watching her grandchildren, she enjoys biking, reading, and traveling. Carol maintains a healthy lifestyle by watching what she eats and fitness walking, but her true passion is biking. She and her husband bike hundreds of miles every year, with a personal goal of biking in every month of the year! Her philosophy in life is to balance hard work with interesting, fulfilling personal passions. She is fond of saying “Can’t never did anything!” and she certainly lives that out in her life. From biking hundreds of miles to chasing around her grandkids she doesn’t let anything slow her down.


Deborah Vaughn

May 7th, 1956

Columbus, OH


Deborah Vaughn has always been a strong woman. As an only child, she has grown up taking care of her mother with dementia, her son, and now her two granddaughters. Deborah has been a Constituent Liaison for the past 17 years and currently works for the Ohio Attorney Generals Office. Working with crime victims, Deborah’s extra time and service is dedicated to the community. She speaks in front of churches and other groups to make sure people and victims know they are not alone. There are people and services out there to help.

Deborah has always been strong for her family and others, but in December something happened that made her have to start being strong for her self. She went to go see her nurse who told her at her age and weight, she was prone to certain types of cancers. This was a wake up call. Since then Deborah has lost over 70 pounds. When she started working on herself she turned what could have been a negative into a positive. Everything seems hard until you do it. This experience has shown Deborah that you should never just sit and think you can’t achieve what you want. Her motto is live your life to the fullest for nothing is impossible.


Jerry Yarov

October 1st, 1949

Columbus, OH


Jerry Yarov was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about 8 years ago. Like many others, the news that he had an incurable degenerative brain disease was not easy to take. At the age of 56, he had to find the right medicine combination and deal with constant fatigue. That’s when he decided to take action and get involved in the local National Parkinson’s Foundation Chapter in Columbus, which offers free exercise classes in the central Ohio area. He is now the Chair Elect for the NPF and an awesome advocate to others with PD. He volunteered as a board member to chair a new fundraiser called MOVING DAY. The main purpose of this event is to make PD patients and caregivers aware of how important exercise is.

Even though Jerry cannot do all that he did on a daily basis prior to being diagnosed, he considers his life to be relatively normal. More importantly, he is still very independent. Along with volunteering at the Parkinson’s Foundation as the board president, he enjoys reading and playing golf. Jerry and his wife like to travel, usually to be with family in Florida and Arizona. His philosophy of life is to be an optimist. It has been difficult to keep that philosophy lately with the tragic death of his beloved 11-year granddaughter and the problems he has with Parkinson’s, but he always still remains positive.


John Wesley Swain III

April 16th, 1949

Columbus, OH


Born in Louisville, Kentucky, John Wesley Swain III grew up with the positive influence of his grand-mother and he wants to extend that to his large family. He has five children, 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. John’s family is a source of stability in his life, and as a result it is very important for him to life a healthy lifestyle to be around for everyone. Taking care of his health and not abusing his body has been a major life-time goal of his. As a retired school teacher, John has lots of time for his hobbies, volunteering and healthful activities. He enjoys taking walks and building expert Lego kits, as well as model airplanes. John is an active volunteer at St. Phillip Apostle Catholic Church in Columbus and St. Helen Catholic Church in Georgetown, Texas. He also enjoys helping out at his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi. In addition to the places that he volunteers, he is also active in the community through GISD Athletics, GISD Mentoring Program, and Georgetown Community Cultural Memorial Association. As a prostate cancer survivor and daily leg pain caused by a back injury, John attributes his great health to eating well, daily four-mile walks, laughing with his wife, and daily prayer. He also enjoys swimming during nice weather. John attributes his life to living by his philosophy: God, Family and Fraternity.


Kathleen Dougherty

December 28th, 1955

Dublin, OH


I would like to nominate Kathleen Dougherty for the Sixty Strong contest. Kathy grew up in the small mining town of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, where her grandfather had worked in the coalmines eventually dying of black lung disease. Her father joined the Navy at 15 and neither of her parents finished high school. Kathleen was the first in her family to go to college. She attended King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA, graduating with a psychology degree. After graduation, she married her high school sweetheart and started working as an assistant manager for a bank in Wilkes-Barre. Much of her job for the bank was dedicated to raising money for United Way. She held events and worked with local businesses, encouraging employees to donate to the charity. Those fundraising skills came in handy while raising three children, first in Pennsylvania and then when the family moved to Dublin, Ohio. She began fundraising for her children’s schools and then raised money for the football, basketball and lacrosse teams by personally raising over $80,000. She is currently active in the St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Church in Dublin and volunteers by walking the Monsignor’s Irish wolfhound. Every year, she volunteers for the city of Dublin by selling tickets for the Halloween festival and 4th of July festivities. She also was active in fundraising for the 30th Anniversary of the Dublin Irish Festival. For many years, she was a caregiver for her 80-year-old mother and grandson, as her daughter went to college. High blood pressure is an issue in her family, but she manages it effortlessly by taking long, daily walks and cooking healthy meals.


Kenneth Neuhart

August 7th, 1949

Columbus, OH


Grew up in New Concord, Ohio, Ken Neuhart is enjoying the life of a retiree from over 40 years in banking from Huntington Bank and Chase Bank. He is an avid cyclist, plays pickleball, and attends spin classes and core training workouts. Ken volunteers at least two days a week at the James Cancer Center and previously volunteered at Riverside Methodist Hospital. He has been extremely active in Pelotonia either riding or volunteering the past eight years and was responsible for introducing Huntington Bank’s involvement in this yearly race. In addition to cycling, Ken lives a healthy lifestyle by eating a gluten-free, organic diet and has never been a smoker. He enjoys kayaking and fishing when he is able to winter in Florida. Ken lives his life by always “paying it forward” in participation of an enterprise larger than himself.

His commitment and passion to being a part of The Greatest Team Ever in solving the riddle and finding an END to CANCER. He lost his father to this terrible disease 28 years ago at The James, and he now is able to combine his love of cycling and his un-wavering commitment to doing his part help END CANCER. “Get busy living or get busy dying.”


Maude Hill

December 23rd, 1947

Reynoldsburg, OH


Born and raised in Thomaston, Alabama, Maude has lived her life based upon the foundational importance of family, religion and work. She was married for 32 years and has seven children, three stepchildren and a total of 27 grandchildren. For 28 years, Maude has worked for Homeport, a real estate development corporation with a holistic approach to housing that has a linkage of service for the families. When she is not making a huge difference at her job, she serves on the Greater Columbus Community Helping Hands and is active at her New Salem Missionary Baptist Church. She advocates for affordable housing and other social issues by serving on one of the largest community action center board, the IMPACT Community Action Center. Maude was featured on the cover of Columbus African American News Journal for the September 2015 issue for her continued activities in the community. She enjoys to garden and to eat healthful meals. Even though she suffered a back injury and lives with daily, debilitating pain, she continues to give back to her community furthering positivity to those less fortunate.


Rosemary Walton

December 2nd, 1956

Columbus, OH


I met Rose two years ago. She demonstrates her love every day – she gives 100% – not only to her family and friends, – but also to the many people she meets working at the LA Fitness gym. This is where I met Rose as my new trainer. She told me her story: retired from the State and started on her course of health and fitness – losing hundreds of pounds – and going on to becoming a trainer herself to pay it forward to all the people that cross her path. She’s also very involved in the Race for the Cure for years – among other causes. But it is her everyday enthusiasm that she spreads throughout the gym – there is never a time when you are in the gym that you don’t hear her infectious laugh and her encouraging words “you can do it” – “keep going you got this” – whether she’s training me or encouraging people working out next to me. Rose is a person who has love in her heart and gives it way. The world would be a better place if we were all a little more like Rose.


Ruth Ann Harris

February 12th, 1953

Columbus, OH


Ruth Harris is a fighter who battles a lot of physical adversity but continues to work hard to regain a more active lifestyle. After growing up in Toledo, she lived in Phoenix while she was married and chose to move back to Columbus in 1991, as it is a city she loves. Ruth is divorced with one daughter and an 11-year-old granddaughter. Her hobbies are reading, writing, drawing, sketching and sewing. She also loves to travel when able. Mackinaw Island, MI and Sedona, AZ are two of her favorite destinations. Ruth has served on the Executive Board of the Lupus Foundation and trained as a group facilitator at the Arthritis Foundation.

Ruth struggles with lupus and Type 1 diabetes that were diagnosed in her 30s when she was working in public administration. While she doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol and watches what she eats, she has had trouble controlling rapid drops in blood sugar. This has made pursuing her favorite activity of walking, difficult. Ruth is currently on disability after a terrifying incident one year ago. Her 102 yr. old Mom had recently passed away and Ruth didn’t realize she had contracted several strains of pneumonia. She blacked out in her home and wasn’t discovered, loyal dog Rossie by her side, until 8-9 hours later. She was hospitalized for 60 days, much of that spent in the ICU. Ruth had to do significant rehab to relearn how to do every day activities like eat, speak and walk. She wears an insulin pump and was also the first Medicare patient in Ohio to be approved for a continuous glucose monitor.

Ruth lives her life by the basic values of God first, followed by family and friends, and makes sure to spend quiet time away from daily distractions to reflect on what’s important. Through all her adversity, Ruth has maintained a positive and “never give up” attitude.


Faye Ruffing

April 7th, 1951

Marysville, OH


I am writing to nominate Steve and Faye Ruffing for the Columbus 60 Strong because of the example they have set in prioritizing health and fitness in their lives. They have always been physically active, and in their 50’s and 60’s, Steve and Faye started a new activity of bicycling quite regularly. On Steve’s 60th birthday, they spent the day in an activity not necessarily typical for that decade of life- they went mountain biking. Then on Faye’s 60th birthday, she and Steve biked 100 miles from Columbus to Cincinnati (and that was after the mile run she has been making every year on her birthday since she turned 30!). That year they made the same 100-mile trip four more times. They go to spinning classes regularly, on weekends are often on the bike trail with the sun rising, and for vacations have biked along Lake Michigan, up the coast of Cape Cod and over the Golden Gate Bridge. They also believe that healthy, clean eating is important to overall fitness. They cook with fresh tomatoes, peppers, spinach and chard out of their garden. Most important to their health they would say is their spiritual health - they are active members of their church and live by a strong faith in God. This summer they volunteered during their church’s vacation bible school with the toddlers, spending a week of their summer chasing two and three year olds around and teaching them about the love of God. They are an excellent example to people of all ages of how to live a healthy life.


Steve Ruffing

September 24th, 1949

Marysville, OH


I am writing to nominate Steve and Faye Ruffing for the Columbus 60 Strong because of the example they have set in prioritizing health and fitness in their lives. They have always been physically active, and in their 50’s and 60’s, Steve and Faye started a new activity of bicycling quite regularly. On Steve’s 60th birthday, they spent the day in an activity not necessarily typical for that decade of life- they went mountain biking. Then on Faye’s 60th birthday, she and Steve biked 100 miles from Columbus to Cincinnati (and that was after the mile run she has been making every year on her birthday since she turned 30!). That year they made the same 100-mile trip four more times. They go to spinning classes regularly, on weekends are often on the bike trail with the sun rising, and for vacations have biked along Lake Michigan, up the coast of Cape Cod and over the Golden Gate Bridge. They also believe that healthy, clean eating is important to overall fitness. They cook with fresh tomatoes, peppers, spinach and chard out of their garden. Most important to their health they would say is their spiritual health - they are active members of their church and live by a strong faith in God. This summer they volunteered during their church’s vacation bible school with the toddlers, spending a week of their summer chasing two and three year olds around and teaching them about the love of God. They are an excellent example to people of all ages of how to live a healthy life.