DVD : Governor John Kasich - 9-19-2017 - Everyday Heroes
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The Dispatch Media Group launches the Everyday Heroes campaign and awards luncheon this year. President Brad Harmon said he plans to make it an annual tradition, and Governor John Kasich already has promised to return for next year's luncheon.

The idea is to recognize and publicize the ordinary people in central Ohio whose volunteer work enriches the community. In all, 118 people were nominated for recognition as Everyday Heroes.

From that list emerged 20 semifinalists:

Vanita Nevis, of Canal Winchester, who helps former prison inmates reintegrate into society

John Martin, of Westerville, who coaches track with the Franklin County Special Olympics

Georgeanna Haviland, of Worthington, who helps people with disabilities run races

Gabe Howard, of Reynoldsburg, who advocates for people living with mental illness

Carol Haynes, of Pickerington, who works with at-risk children

Kenny Sipes, of Pickerington, whose nonprofit Roosevelt Coffeehouse on Long Street in downtown Columbus helps fund projects to fight hunger, human trafficking and unsafe drinking water

Sarah Kersey, a Dublin teacher and cancer survivor who volunteers as a camp counselor with seriously ill children at Flying Horse Farms in Mount Gilead

Donn Ditzhazy, of the Olde Towne East neighborhood, who builds wagons and fills them with Christmas dinner for needy families

Nicole Gnezda, of Worthington, a retired art teacher who volunteers as an art therapist with children

Andrew Levitt, of the Harrison West neighborhood, who performs as drag queen Nina West and has donated about $1 million to nonprofits that benefit children in the LGBT community

Ellie Hite, of Carroll, whose AngelWorks Foundation works with children with cancer

Michael Doody, of the Southern Orchards neighborhood east of German Village, who founded the community garden Kossuth Street Gardens

Sue Wolfe, of the South Side, who battles against infant mortality

Joyce Guenther, of Lancaster, who organizes blood drives

Patti Bernett, a recovered addict who works with women inmates in the Alcoholics Anonymous support group at the Delaware County jail

Robert Shyrigh, of Grove City, who has picked up litter in his neighborhood every morning for nearly 20 years

Cindy Rieman, of Hilliard, a retired teacher who tutors children in reading

Beth Fleshman, of Columbus, a hair stylist who provides free haircuts to people staying at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House while family members receive treatment at Nationwide Children's Hospital

Peter Cline, whose VETMotorsports works with injured military veterans to provide motorsports therapy

Connie Swackhammer, whose Faithful Forgotten Best Friends organization provides basic veterinary care and food for the pets of low-income and homeless people in the West and South Sides of Columbus

and the five finalists:

Meagan Warren, of Bexley, who at 14 has started a program that has donated 53,000 books to children

Marshall Cheatham, of the Olde Towne East neighborhood, who founded the Columbus Saints Drum & Bugle Corps

Howard Warner, of Upper Arlington, a retired barber who works with cancer patients whose hair is falling out from chemotherapy

Tricia Keels, of Bexley, whose Souper Heroes program has donated 100,000 meals to the local hunger-relief system

Renna Schafler from Galloway, has volunteered at North Central Mental Health's Suicide Prevention Services for 26 years
September 19, 2017