Goodwill Columbus will honor three participants in its program for their high level of achievement as part of the 26th Annual Extraordinary People Luncheon.

Goodwill Columbus will honor three participants in its program for their high level of achievement as part of the 26th Annual Extraordinary People Luncheon.

The event will be at noon Wednesday, Sept. 24, in the Hilton Columbus at Easton.

"The luncheon is an opportunity for us to honor those individuals we've served and recognize their success," said Margie Pizzuti, president and CEO of Goodwill Columbus.

"We are so privileged to be part of their extraordinary journey," she said.

The luncheon also provides an opportunity to reflect on the work Goodwill does to help change the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and other barriers, Pizzuti said.

"(Changing lives) is our true north," she said.

This year's honorees are:

• Jeff Meadows of East Columbus, Extraordinary Person of Spirit.

At age 16, Meadows suffered a traumatic brain injury during a game of touch football that left his speech slurred and his balance unsteady. Doctors did not expect much for Meadows' future, but he recovered with the help of his family.

With his job options limited, Meadows was idly passing time before he came to Goodwill and began participating in day programs.

• Kimberlee Booth of Lincoln Village, Extraordinary Person of Vision.

Diagnosed with autism, ADHD and depression, Booth came to Goodwill in 2013 lacking work experience and workplace skills and having a history of workplace behavior issues and having lost her job.

She worked through her barriers with the help of Goodwill staff, focusing particularly on her workplace interactions and interview skills. She earned an internship at Giant Eagle and a week after completing the assignment, she was offered a part-time position with the grocery.

• Marchez Thompson of Groveport, Extraordinary Person of Promise.

The oldest of seven children, Thompson struggled in school because of a cognitive learning disability. As a youngster, he also began experiencing problems with his eyesight and his vision became fractured because of astigmatism.

He overcame these challenges to graduate from high school and worked as a custodian at Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley in Dayton.

After his family moved to Columbus and settled in Groveport, Thompson secured part-time custodial employment through Goodwill's Workforce Development program. He recently began working full-time as a custodian at Ohio State University.

Individual tickets to the luncheon cost $100. For more information, contact Development Director Esther Brody at 614-583-0295 or

"This year's luncheon is extra special because it is our 75th year in Columbus," Pizzuti said.

"We are especially gratified by the unprecedented financial support we've received this year from the corporate community."

In its 75-year history, Goodwill Columbus has grown from having an $8,400 budget and serving about 15 people to a $41 million budget and about 4,000 program participants last year, she said.

The luncheon will include a presentation of photographs telling the story of Goodwill Columbus' history, Pizzuti said.

Proceeds from the luncheon provide unrestricted operating support for Goodwill's mission programs.