By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Whenever a former student of Ernest F. McAdams Sr. calls him, the retired elementary school principal considers it a special honor.
That is because McAdams spent 30 years in education, with a special passion for working with children.
"Whatever contributions I have made were for children," McAdams said. "My work with children was at the elementary school level, and I guess that is the age where they remember you the most."
McAdams is among five people who will receive the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati's Glorifying the Lions Award at a noon luncheon Friday in the Hyatt Regency ballroom downtown.
The award recognizes senior citizens who have made outstanding contributions to Cincinnati.
Sheila J. Adams, the league's president and CEO, said this year's theme is: "Together For Positive Change." She said the theme is indicative of the league's mission.
"Changing the lives of the people who walk through the doors of the Urban League is what our organization is all about," Adams said.
McAdams is retired principal of Parham Elementary School in Evanston.
"I really feel honored and happy to be chosen for this award based on the work that I did in education, for which I am proud," he said.
He is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and received a master's degree in elementary education from Penn State University. He is married to Doris Larkin McAdams. They live in Kennedy Heights.
Others receiving the award are: Dr. Charles O. Dillard, Louise Harmon Stallworth, Marion H. Thompson and Ruth W. Westheimer.
Among a long list of accomplishments, Dillard is most proud of his latest venture as founder of Inner City Health Care Inc., an organization that offers free medical care for inner-city youths and ex-convicts.
"I feel honored to receive the award and I hope it is based on the work we are trying to do to help the inner-city children and to get the ex-cons jobs," Dillard said.
Dillard is a graduate of Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn., and completed post-graduate work at Homer G. Phillips Hospital, St. Louis.
He was appointed a brigadier general of the Ohio Army National Guard in 1994, and commanded the 112th Medical Brigade in Ohio, where he was responsible for the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital and an ambulance company.
He works as a critical care doctor at Bethesda North Hospital.
He and his wife, Jeanette, live in Milford.
At 80 years old, Ruth Westheimer is still a tireless community advocate and volunteer.
"I am very proud to receive this award because I feel I have been working to make the community better," said the Hyde Park resident. "I feel I have been able to work with many people on many issues."
She is serving on the board of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame; the Hearing, Speech and Deaf Center; the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; and many others.
She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
Louise Harmon Stallworth came up through the ranks as a teacher in inner-city elementary schools, Heberle and Cummins. She was an assistant principal at Kennedy, Burton, Chase and Pleasant Ridge elementary schools before becoming principal at Rothenberg and Douglas elementary schools.
"I was shocked when I was told I received the award," she said. "I am somewhat of a quiet worker, but I am really proud of my work in the inner-city schools. It was difficult, but I think I made a difference."
She has a lifelong motto she lived by: "Be not simply good; be good for something."
She received bachelor's degree in education from Ohio State University and a master's from the University of Cincinnati.
Stallworth lives in North Avondale.
Marion H. Thompson is retired, but she can't resist the temptation to work with older people.
"My particular passion is working with seniors," she said. "I am involved in an in-home counseling program for seniors through the Catholic Social Services. Even though I worked as an employment specialist for years, I returned to school to pursue a new career in the field of gerontology."
She received a master's degree in counselor education from the University of Cincinnati and began work to improve the living conditions for the elderly. She lives in Kennedy Heights
"It is a great honor to receive recognition from the Urban League, an organization that works right in our midst to improve the lives of so many people," she said.
For more information about the luncheon, call 281-9955.
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