Tri-Village News

Extraordinary People Luncheon

Goodwill Columbus honors trio at celebration

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PAUL VERNON/THISWEEKNEWS
Goodwill Columbus' Extraordinary Person of Spirit honoree Harriet Smith (left), Extraordinary Person of Promise honoree Bruce Amstutz (center), and Extraordinary Person of Vision honoree Tony Hoover take the stage during the Extraordinary People Luncheon, held Friday, Sept. 20, at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Goodwill Columbus' annual Extraordinary People Luncheon, held Friday, Sept. 20, was out of the ordinary this year.

In celebration of the 25th year of the luncheon, three participants in the Goodwill program were honored for their achievements.

"We decided to do something a little more special since this was our 25th annual luncheon," said Leslie Turis, Goodwill Columbus development manager.

Usually, only one person is honored at the luncheon, she said.

Goodwill Columbus also will mark its 75th anniversary next year, Turis said.

The 2013 honorees are:

* Harriet Smith, Extraordinary Person of Spirit. Smith, 78, is known as the "welcome wagon" at Sage Crosswoods, Goodwill's program in Worthington for individuals age 45 and older with disabilities. Diagnosed with mild mental disability, Smith, who lives in downtown Columbus, is an active participant in many Sage Crosswoods programs and serves on the participant advisory council. Smith teaches other Sage participants how to turn braiding into art.

* Tony Hoover, Extraordinary Person of Vision. Hoover, 51, is a participant at Goodwill Columbus Art Studio and Gallery at the agency's Grandview-area headquarters. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Hoover has limited use of his arms and legs, relies on a wheelchair for mobility and uses a computer-assisted speech device to help him communicate. Hoover, who lives in the Northland area, has sold many paintings, won numerous awards and had his work shown in museums and galleries across the country.

* Bruce Amstutz, Extraordinary Person of Promise. Amstutz, 21, of the Fifth by Northwest area, was diagnosed with a cognitive learning disability. He came to Goodwill through the Columbus City Schools' janitorial program, which helps students with disabilities build custodial skills. After graduation, Amstutz was hired by Goodwill's Contract Services program and works as a custodian at Ohio State University.

"Our honorees are a very diverse group of people, but each of them offer a tremendous story of inspiration," Turis said.

Goodwill staff members submitted nominations for the luncheon and a committee reviewed and selected this year's honorees, she said.

WBNS 10-TV chief meteorologist Chris Bradley served as master of ceremonies at the luncheon, which was held at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.

Proceeds from the luncheon provide support for Goodwill's mission programs, which are designed to build independence, quality of life and work opportunities for individuals with disabilities and other barriers.

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