Hometown Heroes: Jan McGarry

Updated Tue, Apr 23, 2013 8:57 pm
Original Air Date: 
Tue, Apr 23, 2013

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Photo Credit: 
Shaina Kass
Mollie Fitzgerald and Lynn Harter talk with Jan McGarry

They overcome the odds. They sacrifice for the greater good. They trade in problems for possibilities. You may know them as neighbors, coaches, colleagues, or friends. At Studio B, we honor them as Hometown Heroes, ordinary citizens whose everyday efforts strengthen the communities of Southeastern Ohio. Each has a unique story and together they inspire us to make a difference.

The concept of Hometown Heroes grew from a desire to recognize the many people who positively impact our region. Communities face challenges too difficult to ignore. Studio B celebrates individuals who model courage and compassion in the face of adversity. What do they value? Where do they find inspiration? How do they imagine a better future? Tune in as Hometown Heroes tell their stories.

On this edition of Hometown Heroes at Conversations from Studio B, Mollie Fitzgerald, a student in the School of Communication Studies, and Lynn Harter, the Steven and Barbara Schoonover Professor of Health Communication, talk with Jan McGarry. As a second grade teacher at Morrison-Gordon Elementary School, Daisy troop leader, and cross-country coach, McGarry fosters the healthy development of children in the region.

McGarry unexpectedly became a health activist when her daughter, Addie, was born three months before her intended due date. As a result of the critical and compassionate role care providers played during Addie's time at Children’s Hospital in Columbus, McGarry shows her appreciation by giving back. Last October, she ran the Columbus Marathon benefitting Children’s Hospital. She is also active in the March of Dimes charity, an organization that addresses premature births and funds research on problems that threaten the health of babies. “Lots of people came together to help us and that’s why we do the things that we do,” noted McGaffy. “To give back for all of the people that helped us.”

McGaffy also “gives back” to her school and community by volunteering time as her daughter’s Daisy troop leader, where she works to build a sisterhood of young girls who value helping and respecting one another. Meanwhile, she co-founded the Morrison-Gordon cross-country team. Through this program, McGaffy helps kids find their niche, stay healthy, and discover a love of running.

Fitzgerald, Harter and McGaffy discuss the struggles of having a baby born premature, family and social support, and the importance of giving back.

L-R: Mollie Fitzgerald, Jan McGarry, Lynn Harter