2014 Spotlight Award Recipients

Carol Aultman, Coldwell Banker King Thompson
Carol has been an active volunteer in the Westerville community for many years, where she has served 26 of those years on the Auxiliary Committee at St. Ann’s Hospital, which is part of the Mount Carmel Health System serving the central Ohio region.

As a member of the Auxiliary, Carol has participated in numerous fundraising activities that have included hosting bake sales, book fairs, bazaars and jewelry sales, with proceeds going to the hospital’s foundation for special projects, nursing scholarships, and equipment that help support patient care.

St. Ann’s has a state-of-the-art maternity center, emergency department, and cancer center. It welcomes nearly 5,000 deliveries per year, 72,000 visits to the emergency department are made per year, and the hospital features 11 state-of-the art operating rooms and has also just completed a new tower addition that will house the cardiac and orthopedic wings of the hospital.

For the past three years, Carol has also been a volunteer at the Inniswood Metro Gardens, where she helps with plantings, garden maintenance, educational programs, special events, and the annual plant sale held in May.

The Gardens are nestled within a scenic nature preserve that sits on 123 acres in Westerville and boast more than 2,000 species of plants, specialty collections and several theme gardens, including the rose, herb and woodland rock garden.

Carol also serves as an Ambassador for the Westerville Chamber of Commerce, where she actively recruits and welcomes new chamber members.

Carol says, “I really love being part of the Westerville community which offers so much natural beauty and cultural diversity. I also enjoy meeting new people and giving back to the community.”

Juanita Daniel, New Directions Realty, LLC
Juanita is a licensed ordained minister and has been an active member of Holy Miracle Church of God since its inception. Her father began this ministry 40 years ago, and her mother currently serves as its pastor. Growing up in the church, Juanita has always had an ingrained spirit of giving and has served in numerous volunteer capacities for both the church and in the community. You can also find her in the pulpit preaching the Sunday morning sermon a few times each month.

In the church, she works with the food ministry, where she helps to distribute meals to church members unable to attend services and to families in need in the community. She oversees their clothing drive; collecting clothing for families, children and adults entering the workforce. On many occasions, she helps facilitate the removal of appliances buyers and/or sellers no longer want and will donate them to single mothers, widowers and families in need.

Juanita is a volunteer with several after school programs offered through various membership church programs, where she mentors and work with children to help improve their reading, writing and math skills. She is an accomplished pianist, who also plays the drums, and is often invited to nursing care facilities around the city to share her ministry in music and song with their residents.  

Juanita reiterates, “I’ve always been committed to giving to people in need, but having gone through my own personal adversities, including the temporary loss of my eyesight, that commitment has been renewed and I find so much enjoyment in every moment, every opportunity to be a blessing in someone’s life. The greatest way to feel loved, is to be sure you are always spreading love in some way daily.”

Donna Grove, Superior Homes Realty
For 20 years, Donna has been the driving force behind her company’s annual Santa Day food drive, where more than 3,200 food items were collected last year and given to Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio (LSS). In central Ohio 15,000 plus families benefitted from the generosity of individuals and companies contributing to the LSS food pantry in 2013.

Lutheran Social Services was founded in 1912, to carry on general charitable and religious work and continues to serve that very purpose today. Through food pantries, homeless shelters, senior living residences, affordable housing communities and other services that uplift families and strengthen communities, LSS is continuing its mission of creating a better world by serving people in need.

Donna is also very passionate about children and enjoys, probably as much as the kids, participating in Youth Night – a program sponsored through her church, Linden Lutheran Church, where neighborhood children can come every Wednesday night for a warm meal and a positive learning environment. On average you’ll find anywhere from 10 to 20, and as many as 40 children, up to age 18, participating each week in a variety of Youth Night activities, including bible study, arts and crafts, meal preparation and outdoor games.

Linden Lutheran Church also works hand in hand with the neighborhood school to provide a Summer Lunch Program, where you can just about find Donna every day in the summer helping to prepare and serve meals.

Donna says, “I just can’t bear the thought of anyone, particularly children, going hungry in our country. So, hosting a food drive and being a part of Youth Night and the Summer Lunch Program comes from a desire to help provide warm meals for families and children in need.”

Ginger Thrush, ERA Real Solutions Realty
Ginger was recently elected and began serving her one-year term as a director of the Columbus Chapter of DAR (Daughters of the Revolution) in May.

DAR is an international nonprofit, nonpolitical volunteer women’s service organization founded in 1890 with the simple mission of promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. The organization is comprised of nearly 177,000 members in 3,000 chapters worldwide. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership.

As a member of the Columbus Chapter, Ginger has been involved in DAR programs that support activities for active duty military personnel, veterans and their families; provide scholarships for young people; and that support local schools and military studies. The local chapter also hosts an annual reception for people receiving their citizenship; providing them with copies of the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.

For 35 years, Ginger has also served as a member of Daughters of America and currently serves as a Docent at The Sherman House Museum in Lancaster, where she leads historical tours of the museum, which is also the childhood home of General William Tecumseh Sherman, and his brother U.S. Senator John Sherman. The Sherman House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Civil War Preservation Trail and has been a memorial to the family since 1951. 

Ginger says, “I have always been interested in learning about my family history and in tracing our lineal heritage. Several of my ancestors were American Revolutionary War patriots. Three great, great grandfathers served in the Civil War which is an area of study for me. I am gratified to work with organizations that continue to honor our nations’ veterans.”