For five years in a row The Wattle has chosen a citizen from the Southwest side and honored them on Thanksgiving Morning for a Lifetime Achievement Award. We take suggestions from previous winners and others to choose someone who, in an unassuming, “behind the scenes” kind of way, has made a tremendous impact to many lives in Central Ohio. This year's 2017 winner is Grove City's Larry Titus.



Prior Year’s winners are :
2013 Richie Cohen-Smith

2014 John Hampson

2015 Twinkle French-Schottke

2016 Gary Leasure

2017 Lawrence Titus


Lawrence Titus is an entrepreneur from Columbus, Ohio. He is married to Mary, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, High School Principal and English teacher, who now, after two combat deployments to Iraq, works with our American Heroes suffering with PTSD. The Titus Family resides in Grove City, Ohio with four great kids, two grandchildren and three parrots. Titus earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a MBA from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. He is owner/operator of Air Quality Solutions and formerly on the business faculties of Ohio Dominican and Park Universities.

Lawrence is a Past-President of Grove City Chamber of Commerce, as well as a former City of Grove City Planning Commissioner, Board Member for USO of Ohio, and South-Western City Schools Education Foundation Trustee. Titus currently serves with the Rotary Club of Grove City, an Ambassador for Heartland Banks, and a member of the Grove City Building and Zoning Appeals Board. The Columbus City Council, the Ohio House of Representative and Senate, and the United States Congress have recognized his volunteer work in his community. Lawrence began his career promoting and performing as a rock bass guitar player with multiple studio projects. In his free time, he enjoys Lake Erie living, island biking, and Buckeye & Browns football.

Gary was born and raised in Zanesville, Ohio. He graduated as a Blue Devil in 1960 and attended Ohio University. His career in politics began when he ran for City Council and won as the youngest person to be elected. He also served as Zanesville Mayor.

He and his family moved to Grove City in 1978 to open Ace Truck Body, Inc. on Thrailkill Road. Right away Gary became involved in the community, by volunteering on the Indian Trails Homeowners Association and coaching various Little League teams. He went on to be very active in the Grove City High School Athletic Boosters. He fed the football teams before games and eventually was part of a committee that brought Bingo to the GCHS Athletic Boosters. This proved to be quite successful for many years.

After many failed school levy attempts, it was announced in 1994 that all South-Western City Schools extra-curricular activities were halted unless a special election that August passed. Gary felt so strongly that all kids deserved a chance to participate in sports, band, etc. that he volunteered to chair the levy committee. He championed this cause, by organizing parents, teachers, coaches and students to campaign for “Blue Ribbon Schools for Blue Ribbon Kids”. The community was energized and endless hours were spent by countless citizens, tying blue ribbons, marching in neighborhood parades and knocking on doors. The levy eventually passed and all activities were reinstated. With the success of mobilizing so many to help pass a levy which had failed at least 7 times, he was convinced by his colleagues to run for the South-Western City School Board. He was elected in 1995 and spent the next 12 years serving the students, staff and community members of our school district.

Additionally, Gary served on the Grove City Chamber of Commerce, Westland Area Business Association, South-Western City Schools Educational Foundation, and now the Success Beyond the Classroom Charity organization. This 501c3 Charity helps students to finance their “Pay to Participate” fees. Gary also serves as Chairman of the Grove City Planning Commission, having been appointed by Mayor “Ike” Stage. .

Gary continues to work at ACE Truck Body, a business he began almost 40 years ago. He and his wife Lisa are members of the Grove City United Methodist Church and are proud of their blended family. Gary’s children Rob (Tami), Anne & Bryan all are part of the family business. Lisa’s four children are Todd (deceased), Katie (Kyle McDowell), Emily and Jason (Destinee). Ask Gary of his greatest achievement and he will mention nothing about the above, but will instead share with you the joy of being a grandparent and the love he has for his nine beautiful grandchildren.

Twinkle is currently the Program Director for Moms2B with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Moms2B is a community program working with pregnant women to have healthy babies in central Ohio, in areas that have the highest rates of infant mortality.

Twinkle hopes to be able to expand the Moms2B program so that they can serve more pregnant moms and help assure that each baby born is welcomed into the world and has a space in someone’s heart to grow.

Since inception almost four years ago, Moms2B has enrolled over 350 women and happily welcomed over 150 babies into the world! The program participants had a 50 percent reduction in low birth weight babies compared to the expected number of Medicaid low birth weight babies. Moms2B meets are four locations during the week throughout Columbus. Weinland Park at Grace Missionary Baptist Church, Moms2B East in Wallace Auditorium at OSU East The Ohio State University Hospital, Mount Carmel West in the Community Health Resource Center, and the John R. Maloney Neighborhood Health Center.

Prior to working at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Twinkle worked at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for twenty years in numerous roles, helping the community. She was the Children’s Express Manager at Children’s Homecare. Children’s Express provided group nursing services for Children, 6 weeks through 5 year, who had special health care needs. Twinkle then moved into the role Parent Resources Center/ Shaken Baby Syndrome Program Coordinator at NCH. In that role, Twinkle developed and supervised a center for parents to find good, safe childcare in homes and centers. Twinkle then became the Maternal Depression Project Coordinator, in which she developed and implemented the Franklin County resource guide, surveys and evidence based research for maternal depression project for statewide implementation. Twinkle also served as the Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) Program Coordinator, in which she created the statewide training model in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Ohio Children’s Trust Fund to provide education for ECMH coordinators and other early childhood professionals.

Twinkle has also served as a Consultant for Zero to Three with Military Projects, in which she provided Duty to Care educational trainings at Military Installments across the United States on the effects of deployment, grief, loss, injury, and reunification to professionals who work with babies and young children.

Twinkle is currently the President of the Ohio Association of Infant Mental Health (OAIMH). OAIMH promotes and supports healthy development and nurturing relationships for all infants and young children in Ohio. The organization provides a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration by advocating for the application of infant mental health principles in services for infants, young children and caregivers.

Twinkle Resides in Grove City with her Husband Roby, daughter Kayle, and son Gavin.

In continuing with a tradition we started one year ago, the 2014 Thanksgiving Wattle, will recognize someone from Central Ohio who has spent a Lifetime of making an impact on local citizens. Last year’s Award Winner was Richie Cohen-Smith. This year, we are recognizing, long-time Grove City resident, John Hampson. There will be a brief recognition and reward ceremony prior to the Start of the 2014 Thanksgiving Wattle.

The general intent of this award is to recognize someone who has naturally, in an unassuming and undecorated way, made a significant and positive impact on others, just by being his or herself.

There is a lot of content to work with in chronicling the life of Hampson. He graduated from Grove City High School (GCHS) in 1971 and Capital University in 1975 with a BA in Education for History, Social Studies and Speech. He received a Masters in 1980 in Guidance and Counseling from Capital University.

He started teaching at GCHS in 1975 and began counseling around 1980. He retired in 2011 with 36 years of service. He also was a youth leader at the Grove City United Methodist Church, Grove City Council Member, President of Grove City Council, Jackson Township Trustee, Youth to Youth leader. He led many, many groups including a current one with men of many different age groups. He coached Freshmen Football; served as Advisor to the Student Council, Junior Class Advisor, Senior Class Advisor, scout master (a strange mystery, he slept in the car on camp outs); he volunteers as a receptionist at the Grove city United Methodist Church, Sunday school teacher, and works in the Grove City Food Pantry.

For each class he counseled and followed through 4 years at GCHS, John wrote personal graduation letters to all of them, (e.g. Class of 84, 88, 92, 96, 98) He also wrote countless letters for achievers in cheerleading, team sports, student council, honor society or just students that needed encouragement. He still writes the shut-ins at the church, folks on the sick list, people he admires, etc.

He now writes adolescent books, makes gifts for new members at the church, continues to write numerous letters, volunteers as stated above and is a devoted grandpa. Past students (even way past) still call for advice on kids or grandkids and every time someone says, "You had my -son, daughter, grandchild, etc., He always says , Oh I loved them. They were great." And he means it.

Finally, there is one fitting point for our acknowledgement at the 2014 Wattle. When we contacted John for this award recognition intent, we learned that he had been diagnosed with Diabetes last March, 2013. Since then, John has lost 100 pounds and walks 5 to 9 miles a day. He was already planning on walking this year’s Wattle :-) We hope you can make it out to the Wattle and be on hand to recognize John for this lifetime achievement from his peers.

Beginning with this year’s Wattle, and each year thereafter, we will recognize and give tribute to one citizen from Central Ohio who has been instrumental in inspiring others to better health and wellness. There will be an award ceremony before the 9:00am Wattle 5K Start to recognize this year’s first honoree. This year we will be honoring Richie Cohen-Smith, a lifelong Grove City resident and a co-founder of Front Runner on Lane Avenue. Tosoh SMD is sponsoring this Award Ceremony.