Posted on June 1, 2018
Ontario OH – On Thursday, May 31, Mary L. McDonald of Mansfield, Ohio was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium in Columbus.
McDonald was honored for her lifelong dedication to the aging network and the Richland County community, with emphasis on her work as senior center director of the Friendship Center in the 1980s and 1990s and her current role as founder and director of the senior group, “Yes We Can Seniors.”
Since 1977, the Ohio Department of Aging has inducted more than 450 individuals into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame for “contributions toward the benefit of humankind after age 60, or for a continuation of efforts begun before that age.”
The inductees were honored by Ohio Department of Aging Interim Director Beverley Laubert and Vice President of the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging Duana Patton.
McDonald gave credit to the senior citizens she had served throughout her life in her acceptance speech.
“You can’t travel this journey alone. It takes team spirit. And I was truly blessed to have just that,” said McDonald. “So, I do truly accept this honor on their behalf.”
In addition to her work with older adults, McDonald has served on numerous boards, including United Way, Mansfield Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program, Alzheimer’s Association, Neighborhood Watch Leaders, Citizen Participation Committee, the Board of Elections, and MRM Affordable Housing. She also served as the Mansfield Ohio American Business Women’s Association Hospitality chairperson, and was on the board of Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging for six years.
McDonald still runs an Alzheimer’s grief support group and continues to attend Providence Baptist Church, where she has been a member for 62 years. But perhaps her greatest joy comes in part during the three days a week she continues to work for "Yes We Can Seniors,” where she leads members in providing health screenings and referral services and collaborates with organizations in the community. Members also remain active in the community by supporting local levies, attending and promoting senior events, raising funds for charitable organizations and providing services and supports for other seniors.
Visit http://aging.ohio.gov/halloffame for more information on the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and to view all inductee bios.
The Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc., located at 2131 Park Avenue West in Ontario, provides leadership, collaboration, coordination and services to older adults, people with disabilities, their caregivers & resource networks that support individual choice, independence and dignity.