Margaret Buranen

Janet Bowers

Trufflemaker

For years, Janet Bowers would make truffles as gifts for friends and colleagues, but, she says, “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could do it professionally.” After all, she already had a full-time job as a practicing psychologist. 

Bowers, a member of South Central Power Company, grew up in Chillicothe and went on to work for the National Park Service and as a schoolteacher before deciding to earn her doctorate in clinical and forensic psychology.

Golden retriever

Hero dogs

Golden retrievers are beautiful and affectionate dogs. They’re great with children and get along with other dogs and, usually, cats. Those characteristics make them among the most popular dog breeds.

In Ohio, 102 golden retrievers were enrolled in the study. Among them is Montana, now 9, who lives in Oberlin with his owners, Kim and Scott Faulks, members of Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative. 

Montana was a full brother to Ryder, the Faulks’ first golden retriever. “Ryder gave us three wonderful years,” says Kim Faulk. “He was never upset or angry, always loving and trusting.”

The Faulks were devastated when Ryder died of cancer at only 3 years old. Ryder is the reason that Montana is a “Hero,” which is what GRLS participants are called.

Nancy Crow

Star quilter

Nancy Crow’s quilts hang in the Smithsonian and the Museum of Folk Art. They’ve been on exhibit in China, England, France, and other countries. Some of her quilts even appear on the covers of two of Maya Angelou’s books.

Surprisingly, for a fabric artist as accomplished as Crow is, she did not learn to sew when she was young. She became an avid knitter in high school, but didn’t create any fabric art until she took a course in tapestry weaving at Ohio State University. Her BFA and MFA degrees from the university were focused on ceramics art.

Kane Lewis and Rachel Jarman

Staying in the game

Nineteen-year-old Kane Lewis’ life changed instantly on Nov. 16, 2019. While he was on a hunting trip, he had a seizure that caused him to fall from his tree stand — breaking his back and leaving him paralyzed. 

Working with state agencies, AgrAbility helped Lewis get a lift to put him on farm machinery, an Action Trackchair that will go over any terrain, and an automatic barn door opener. 

“AgrAbility has given me so much more freedom than I could have expected,” Lewis says. “I didn’t [have to] slow down.”

Just a month and a week after his accident, Lewis was back in college, where his classmates raised $13,000 to buy him an electric wheelchair to get around campus easily. By spring, he was back planting corn and soybeans.

Greg Mahle with a dog

Dogs' best friend

On 28 Mondays a year, Greg Mahle climbs into his semitractor-trailer in Zanesville and heads south on a mission through Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi to give formerly homeless dogs the loving homes they deserve.

One of his first stops on the weeklong, 4,200-mile journey is Shaggy Dog Rescue in Houston, where he finds dogs waiting for him that have been saved from overcrowded shelters across the Lone Star State.

Mahle gets the dogs into kennels, which are then secured — three shelves high — along the walls of his custom-built, air-conditioned trailer. Though they don’t realize it, the dogs have taken their first step toward much better lives, thanks to Rescue Road Trips, the nonprofit organization Mahle founded.