DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Eleven people and one couple, all age 60 and older, were chosen to be the faces of the 2020 Dayton 60 Strong calendar. They were chosen by a panel of judges because of their amazing stories of survival and overcoming unimaginable feats.
Striking their best pose, they gathered at the Dayton Art Institute Thursday for a calendar shoot sponsored by PriMed Physicians.
“The idea is to celebrate the people who really inspire others who look at 60 as kind of a new beginning,” said Mark Couch, M.D. and President of PriMed Physicians.
The calendar models are all in their 60s, positive, active, and fit, with their own unique stories to tell.
“I am a cancer survivor. I had cancer of the uterus in 1984, and I was sent home basically to die. Twenty-one days in the hospital. So I live life to the fullest,” says Daria Dillard Stone who will be featured in the calendar.
She also lost her husband in 2007. In her grief she founded Sharing Ministries LLC.
“I’m not a weeping widow anymore. I’m a wonderful widow,” says Dillard Stone.
Toby Boedeker, also in the calendar, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease 15 years ago and had a kidney transplant 10 years ago.
“There’s more to life even after chronic disease or after injuries,” says Boedeker. “I’ve lived a normal life. I’m still able to hug my wife and grandkids. I’m still able to enjoy the lake and go out on the boat and be in the kayak and canoe.”
In the group of baby boomers, there are also stories of accomplishment.
“For my 62nd birthday I ran my first half marathon,” says calendar model Barb McGirr. “I just stay active. I do six classes a week in a gym. I’m just a gym rugrat.”
The group is the epitome of “Dayton Strong,” all echoing the same sentiment and embracing life at 60 and older.
“I’m living, walking testimony about how age ain’t nothing but a number,” says Dillard Stone. “Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present. Use your gift.”
Calendars will be available for purchase online starting October 20. Proceeds will go to The Dayton Foundation to support the families of the victims of the Oregon District mass shooting.
The calendar will also include health tips for seniors and information about Medicare enrollment. The calendar coincides with the launch of Greater Dayton Senior Care Advantage.
The group will make their first public appearance at the Medicare Expo on Sunday, October 20 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Marriott at the University of Dayton.