A Washington C.H. man who has spent most of his life serving his community was one of 13 honorees recognized Wednesday for their accomplishments and volunteerism at the 43rd-annual Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame recognition ceremony.
John Meriweather — nominated by Bambi Baughn — was this year’s Fayette County inductee.
The Hall of Fame honors central Ohio older adults who share their dedication, talent and vitality in ways that significantly improve their communities and the lives of others. The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging hosts the event — held at the Martin Janis Center in Columbus — each May during Older Americans Month, which celebrates the contributions of senior citizens.
Meriweather started his volunteer service at the age of 23, according to Baughn’s nomination. He joined the Washington Court House Rotary Club and took the mission to heart to serve others by promoting integrity and goodwill. One of the Rotary’s programs is the local Little League. He said he felt the baseball program was a good place to volunteer his time.
To say Meriweather loved Little League is an understatement. He volunteered with the organization for over 40 years. He also served as president of the Little League board for over 30 years.
Throughout his volunteer time, he ran the program, maintained the facilities, managed the finances, and coordinated the tournament logistics for each All-Star team. At times, this consumed 30-plus hours a week, serving the Washington Little League while working a full-time job.
Through the years, Meriweather captured wonderful memories of watching thousands of young men and ladies “learn to play ball” while learning the meaning of being part of a team.
“While John was at the park most nights, he saw our community come together to cheer on their children, volunteer their time as coaches, concession stand workers, and team moms feeding the kids during tournament time,” reads the nomination.
For a few years, Meriweather was able to watch his two sons play. He became that “sort of nervous father” wanting his sons to put forth their best efforts toward being successful. Most importantly, he just loved watching them laugh and play with their buddies, enjoying the sport of baseball. He was even able to watch his grandson play.
After 40 years of volunteering for the Little League, he decided to hang up his cleats and turn over the program to other volunteers. He helped with the transition of new leadership and he continues to be an active Rotarian by volunteering his time in other ways.
Meriweather also served 19 years as a past trustee on the Fayette County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees with three years as board chairperson, past board chair on the Grace United Methodist Church Board of Directors, past president of the Washington Court House Rotary Club, and past chair of the City of Washington City Planning Commission.
During the induction ceremony Wednesday, Colleen Marshall of NBC 4 acted as host, and a catered reception followed.
The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA) plans, funds, and delivers services that help older adults and individuals with disabilities remain safe and independent in their homes. With the assistance of area providers, COAAA arranges and coordinates services to help individuals with daily living such as homemaking, transportation, home delivered meals, and personal care. COAAA offers education and resources to caregivers, professionals and the public, and advocates for programs and policies that benefit older adults and individuals with disabilities.
COAAA manages services for 10,000 people and funds services for another 20,000 older adults in eight counties: Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway and Union. COAAA is operated under the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. For more information, visit www.coaaa.org.
Information for this article was provided by COAAA.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica