The Outstanding



This world is full of people. Last count, there were roughly 7,608,000,000. That is getting close to 8 billion. A lot. And today, I felt very proud of one of those individuals in our little part of that world.

People. We all know some. I have family and a few good friends. I know OF a lot of people. But even if we count our 1,000 Facebook Friends, and every person we know of through news, media, and entertainment, it is still a tiny, little portion of 8 billion. A smidge.

Yes, our little circles of the world. People certainly come in all shapes, and sizes, and varieties. Yet, there too, we like some more than others. Certain people are easy to be around. A true joy. While other individuals can present some challenges along the way. There are the very interesting, and the unwittingly dull. The ambitious, the content. The open, and the closed. But no matter, we all are equals.

With that, I was reminded of a certain kind of person today. A hero. One of those who is admired for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. I am fortunate enough to know some heroes. But one, in particular, is my heart song. The love of my life. Mary.

On this day, she received an award for being “A Woman of Influence, 2018” in this area of our State of Ohio. She and six other women were recognized by the YWCA of Dayton.

There was a celebration in the way of a luncheon. About 800 people attended the gala. All of these women have made a difference in our world through their dedication to community. They have worked for the good. They have empowered other people. Their missions are wide in scope. Some have worked on eliminating racism and promoting peace. Others have built new opportunities for the less fortunate. It goes on and on. But all of them care about dignity, and equality. I simply cannot say enough.

So. The Honorees in the Women of Influence Class of 2018 are:
• Janice Allen, Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer, Trotwood-Madison City School District
• Mary Bullen, Community Philanthropist & Founder, Home Is The (HIT) Foundation
• Kim Faris, Radio Host, Hot Country B94.5 and Mix 107.7 (I Heart Media/Dayton)
• Jacque Fisher, Deputy, Sensors Division (WPAFB)
• Sharon Rab, Founder & Chair, Dayton Literary Peace Prize
• Daria Dillard Stone, Parent Advocate & Educational Consultant
• Pamela Morris, founder and CEO of CareSource, honored with the 2018 Women of Influence Lifetime Achievement Award.

My Mary there, is second on this listing from the event.
She has done so much for this county of Preble and its surrounding areas. She gives freely and sometimes, it seems, endlessly. She does this consistently and without hesitation. She is a hero to the core. She stands tall when others have skulked away. She imagines the impossible, and makes it become a reality.

This day, I was overcome by gratitude, joy, and renewed awareness. As I watched the testimonials of her service (Janet Crelin; Jane Marshall), and her speech, I was more proud and thankful, than I have ever been.

I may be a tiny bit biased, but sometimes I cannot believe the ways she gives selflessly. Again, and again, and again.

There is a lot going on in our very big 8-trillion-people-world. Much of it, feels dark and dismal, at times. At times, there are glimmers of hope. A ray of bright light. And. Every once and again, we get glimpses of those shining heroes.

Congratulations to Mary, the most brilliant star I know.


“Everything you can imagine is real.”
― Pablo Picasso


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston S. Churchill


“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson