COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Aging is inducting two Valley residents in a ceremony at the Statehouse Atrium in Columbus on Wednesday. They are among 15 outstanding older Ohioans recognized for a lifetime of contributions and accomplishments.

Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and leaders from Ohio’s aging network will recognize Dr. Rashid A. Abdu, of Canfield, and Jim Kerr, of Lisbon.

The ceremony will stream live at 1:30 Wednesday on the Ohio Channel.

“This year’s inductees possess a diverse range of experiences they have used over their lives to contribute to their communities in meaningful ways,” said Ursel J. McElroy, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “I am honored to congratulate the newest members of the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

Abdu’s contributions to surgery and the education of new physicians have earned him a place in the hall of fame. After the age of 70, he has volunteered as a physician and surgery with Mission of Love in Mexico, an orphanage clinic in Guatemala, an Indian Reservation in South Dakota and in Hurricane Katrina aid efforts in New Orleans.

After the death of his wife, Joanie, to breast cancer in 1994, Abdu started the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center in 2011 with the help of Mercy Health, the Mercy Health Foundation and the community. The center has since become one of the best breast care centers in the country.

Jim Kerr has been a biology teacher in the Valley for more than 40 years, serving the Beaver Local School District, Columbiana County Educational Service Center and Ohio Valley College of Technology throughout his career.

Kerr also founded the Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center using taxidermy skins and mounts from his classroom and has worked with local legislators and state officials to secure funding for new displays and additions to the wildlife education center.

This year’s inductees range from age 66 to 101, and they bring the total number of hall of fame members to 501.

‘Among [the inductees] are doctors, teachers, veterans, philanthropists, historians, musicians, actors and more,” said McElroy. “While they may have different backgrounds, one thing they all share is a calling to go above and beyond to help others. They have each had a profound impact across the state and are well-deserving of this prestigious achievement.”

The Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame was established in 1977 to honor Ohioans ages 60 and older for their achievements and community contributions.

For photos and full bios of the 2022 inductees, visit the Ohio Department of Aging’s website.