(Posted May 4, 2023)
London resident resident Tom Lawrence is among 14 individuals who will be inducted into the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging’s (COAAA) Hall of Fame on May 17 at The Gallery of Champions at Champions Golf Course in Columbus.
Tom pays it forward every day. It’s a way of life he ascribes to, especially after experiencing a turning point in 2019 in which he received a heart transplant. He doesn’t take life for granted and makes an effort each day to serve others. For more than nine years, Tom has volunteered for Donate Life Ohio, a coalition of the state’s organ, eye, and tissue recovery agencies dedicated to educating Ohioans about the need for organ donation.
Tom continues to be a shining example of what it means to advocate for the importance of organ donation. It’s work that earned him the Ambassador Award from Donate Life Ohio.
Tom also is actively involved at the Madison County Senior Citizens Center in London. He has volunteered at the center for many years and, in particular, with the center’s café since 2016. He’s at the café every day and is basically the chef, a position that shows how important the café is to him personally. He’s a great representative of the center, taking every opportunity to promote the facility and café throughout the community. He has been a member of the center’s governing board since 2022.
A four-year member of Madison County Vineyard Church, Tom devotes his time to the Act of Kindness Outreach, a church group that gives back to the community through various volunteer outreach efforts. He also attends bible study twice a month at the church.
Tom retired from Madison County EMS after 27 years. He and his wife, Betty, have been married for 49 years. They have three children, 13 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
In his spare time during the summer, Tom loves to take his red VW Beetle convertible around to car shows. He’s usually at one or two car shows every summer weekend.
The COAAA Hall of Fame honors central Ohio older adults who share their dedication, talent, and vitality in ways that significantly improve their communities and the lives of others. COAAA hosts the Hall of Fame induction in May during Older Americans Month, a month that celebrates the contributions of senior citizens.
In addition to Tom Lawrence, the 2023 class of inductees includes: Eileen Brenner of Delaware County, Delma Jackson of Delaware County, David “Dee” and Kathy Mowry of Fairfield County, Joanne Boysel of Fayette County, Roger Pry of Franklin County, Pamela Shields of Franklin County, Dick Wires of Franklin County, Ruby Hall of Licking County, Charlie and Darlene Weaver of Pickaway County, and Bob and Jeannie Hildreth of Union County.
COAAA plans, funds, and delivers services that help older adults and individuals with disabilities remain safe and independent in their homes. With the assistance of area providers, COAAA arranges and coordinates services to help individuals with daily living such as homemaking, transportation, home delivered meals, and personal care. COAAA offers education and resources to caregivers, professionals, and the public and advocates for programs and policies that benefit older adults and individuals with disabilities.
COAAA manages services for approximately 14,000 people and funds services for another 25,000 older adults in eight counties: Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union. COAAA is operated under the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.