More than 200 supporters and friends attended the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s (FAO) annual I’m a Child of Appalachia® Celebration Saturday night at the Zanesville Country Club to recognize Senator John and Mrs. Annie Glenn as the Foundation’s 2007 honorees.
The event also saw the announcement of two $5,000 grants from FAO to the East Muskingum Scholarship Endowment Fund in honor of John and Annie Glenn.
The Glenns grew up in New Concord, Ohio, in Muskingum County, as high school sweethearts and later, Muskingum College graduates. Annie is renowned for providing an inspiring model for people with communicative disorders as she overcame her own severe stuttering.
John was a fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean conflict, and in 1962, became the first astronaut to orbit the earth. Later, he would serve Ohio as a U.S. Senator for four terms. At the age of 77, John reprised his astronaut role when he became the oldest human ever to venture into space.
Frances Strickland, First Lady of Ohio, introduced the Glenns as the Foundation’s 2007 I’m a Child of Appalachia honorees.
“John and Annie Glenn are two people who keep giving gifts to this region,” Strickland said.
When accepting the award, John and Annie spoke on the importance of encouraging Appalachian Ohio students to find their passions and talents and to use them to achieve their dreams.
“Thank you all for honoring us tonight, but it’s not about us, it’s about something much bigger,” John Glenn said. “Organizations like the Foundation are literally changing lives and providing stepping stones to better things through grants and scholarships. We have to take the responsibility to give our students the education they deserve.”
The purpose of the Foundation’s award-winning I’m a Child of Appalachia campaign is to share stories of the region’s success and honor outstanding individuals who are making a difference in their communities and the world.
The Foundation’s honorees are people who are proud of their Appalachian roots and authenticate the importance of educational opportunities to life, business and community achievement, said Cara Dingus Brook, Foundation President/CEO.
“John and Annie Glenn are perfect examples of being from Appalachian Ohio and achieving your dreams with the help of your community and higher education,” Brook said.
The Glenns join an ever-growing family of I’m a Child of Appalachia honorees, including the 2006 recipients: David Wilhelm, Athens native, entrepreneur and manager of President Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992; Leona Hughes of Jackson County, who has endowed college scholarships for Ohio University students from Oak Hill; and Wayne F. White, Lawrence County native and former executive director of the Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education (OACHE).
In 2005, the Foundation honored Mike Brooks of Nelsonville, CEO of Rocky Brands, Inc.; Nancy Zimpher of Gallipolis, president of the University of Cincinnati; and Bob Evans of Gallia County, founder of Bob Evans Restaurants.
I’m a Child of Appalachia encourages our region’s students to achieve their dreams through access to education by utilizing various communication products across all mediums, including: print ads, radio and TV public service announcements, billboards, posters, brochures and special mailings. The campaign and membership network have a home on the Foundation’s Web site, at www.appalachianohio.org/ican.
In addition to naming its 2007 honorees, FAO announced the five winners of the second annual I’m a Child of Appalachia Essay Contest, which asked regional students to write about a person who had made a substantial impact on their life.
“Some of the essays were so incredibly well written that it made you feel proud of what our teachers are doing to be sure that students are becoming good writers,” said Barbara Hansen, the FAO trustee who coordinated the essay contest with Muskingum College. “Some writing brought tears to your eyes as you read about the contestants’ feelings or conditions in which they live.”
Ron Strickmaker, Foundation board chair, also discussed FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia Network (ICAN!), an annual membership group for individuals committed to helping the Foundation increase access to educational opportunity in Appalachian Ohio.