DAYTON — A group of age-defying 60 Strong ambassadors aren’t bathing suit models, but they will be featured as “pin-ups” on a 2020 Dayton 60 Strong calendar that will benefit families of the Oregon District shooting victims.
The kickoff party and photo shoot was Thursday at the Dayton Art Institute for the baby boomers aged 60 to 69 selected by a celebrity panel of judges, including News Center 7’s Leticia Perry, because they have accomplished unimaginable feats, overcome chronic health conditions, changed lives for those less fortunate and contributed to society in a meaningful way.
The winners will each be features on a month of the calendar, which includes Dayton-area landmarks, special events and activities going on throughout the year, and health tips for seniors.
Dayton 60 Strong is sponsored by PriMED Physicians as part of the launch of Greater Dayton Senior Care Advantage, a new program designed to keep seniors active and help them navigate the complexities of Medicare coverage and other healthcare decisions.
The 2020 calendar will be available as early as late October.
The winners will make a guest appearance from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 20 at a Medicare Expo at the Marriott at the University of Dayton.
The honorees are:
Toby Boedeker, 60
The computer specialist and YMCA youth swim coach was diagnosed with diabetes at 33, had an insulin reaction and seizure at 41 that led him to crush the heads of his humeri (long arm bones that extend to his shoulder) and had them replaced with titanium plates. At 45 he was diagnosed with kidney failure and received a kidney in 2009 from a Kettering High School teacher he worked with. “It’s all about attitude. That’s how I made it — by staying positive.”
Karla Brun, 62
Always on the move, she teaches yoga classes to seniors, and takes Pilates and yoga herself, and swims and bikes almost every day. She won the Senior Olympics in Triathlon at 55. Brun, who has a master’s in social agency counseling who worked in hospital settings and for Dayton Public Schools, also has led a life of volunteering, currently at Catholic Social Services, Performing Arts Alliance, and leading a rosary prayer group at a care facility.
Cathy Capelle, 65
She has shown that after many years of retirement from a sport, you can come back and win. At 46, she got back into competitive diving and competed in the highest level for her age group, winning medals in springboard and platform diving. Widowed twice, she was the primary caregiver for her husband, John, for five years before he died in 2013 from prostate cancer. She also volunteers at Dayton Art Institute and reads to school children.
Sheryl Iddings, 65
Despite having arthritis that affects her feet, shoulders and hands, she tries to stay “10K ready.” Shortly after a foot surgery three years ago, she broke her ankle but still was able to walk a 10K only three weeks after removing the cast. She plays golf, walks her dogs and helps her friend who is ill by walking her three dogs a few days a week. She donates to both a hospital’s chemo snack cart backpack program for school-age children in need.
Sheila Jackson, 61
An exercise enthusiast, she has taken on the role of a Silver Sneakers class instructor and certified life wellness coach at the Lohrey Recreation Center in Dayton, and teaches fitness and Zumba at other recreation facilities. She also volunteers and does events, charities, church groups and health fairs outside of her wellness classes. “When I’m not teaching, I’m listening, replenishing and renewing myself. This is my own personal workout sanctuary.”
George Kosta, 66
Regularly at the local gym, a few years ago, he was awaiting a double lung transplant and slowly dying from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic disease that causes lung failure. He was the first patient at the Ohio State University Wexner Center to undergo a new procedure, called ex vivo perfusion. Three years later, he and his wife are both regular gym attendees and are active with their church and community.
Larry Lindstrom, 61
As the multi-faith campus chaplain, he serves students and staff of all faiths at Sinclair Community College and also is LGBTQ+ liaison, working to make all students feel comfortable on campus. He serves on a community theater board and will be directing his first play this year. He also is involved with the Friends of Dayton Library. A few years ago, he helped his wife with her counted cross stitch project and now he cross stitches and donates his work to his church.
Barbara McGirr, 68
A retired behavioral health care nurse, she took her activity level up a notch and works with Silver Sneakers as an ambassador promoting the benefits of staying healthy. She maintains her active lifestyle to keep her heart and mind healthy because her philosophy is “good physical health is connected to good mental health.” The Silver Sneakers Richard L. Swanson Inspiration Award winner in 2017, she shows that age is just a number.
Bilal Momin, 63
Diagnosed with polycystic nephrosis, a kidney disease, when he was in his 40s, the same disease that claimed his grandmother, mother and three younger sisters, his life was saved by a stranger who approached him at church and offered one of her kidneys. Now, he regularly works out, he volunteered and served as a board member for LifeConnection, a nonprofit that promotes organ donation, and volunteers at other events and health fairs.
Richard Ryan, 63
A cancer survivor, he also is the recipient of a new liver after he was diagnosed with non-alcoholic cirrhosis. He was “saved for the purpose of helping others.” He runs nonprofit TheFarmFoundation723, which provides canvas bags for transplant recipients to store their medications, medical devices and instructions in one place. He officiates youth baseball and softball games, and hands out organ donation bracelets. His foundation also runs an Angel Tree program and other events.
Mike and Teresa Smith, both 61
Partners in love, life and sports, these high school sweethearts received engineering degrees from the University of Dayton. They started playing volleyball after college and compete at the national and international level every year. They are also master scuba divers and have traveled to 48 states and 52 countries. Mike Smith was diagnosed with late stage melanoma in 2015, but is now cancer-free after a clinical trial for a new drug. He also received a pacemaker and only temporarily slowed him down. The couple makes time to give back,helping at local theater and pavilion events.
Daria Dillard Stone, 68