Hometown Heroes

The Baltimore Festival has partnered with The Peoples Bank to find the people’s choice for our Hometown Heroes! The Baltimore Festival Hometown Hero Committee thanks the community for taking the time to nominate and share their stories about all of the amazing heroes that live and work in Baltimore, Ohio. It was not an easy task to narrow it down to just two! However, the committee worked diligently to select our honorees based upon who fully encompassed what it means to be a hero: “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities”.

Hometown Hero – Jo Del Landis

page 8Jo Del Landis is a Hometown Hero: giving of herself so that others may live. In December 2017, Landis made the selfless decision to be a living organ donor, even at the risk of shortening her own life. Initially, Landis decided she wanted to be a donor because she was young, healthy, so why not!? And then one night, she came to the realization of the real “why”. In 2012, Landis’ sister, Jamey, passed away. She shared that she would give anything to have her sister here for “just five more minutes. If it is five more minutes my recipient has with family, then I’ve done something good. I just wanted to give someone else that opportunity to have a little longer with loved ones. As I know the pain and hurt with losing a family member.” She went through extensive testing and numerous doctor visits in order to receive approval to become a living donor. Landis did not tell anyone about her decision because she first wanted to be 100% sure she was a match and could be a donor. At the same time, the family’s neighbor was sharing his excitement that a potential donor had been found; unbeknownst to all of them that Landis was the match! Once she received the official approval, Landis made a video to tell her family and neighbor what she was doing. On June 12, 2018 Landis underwent surgery in order to donate her kidney (aka Wilma). Both Landis and the recipient are residents of Baltimore and Liberty Union graduates. Landis has lived in the Baltimore area her entire life and graduated from Liberty Union High School in 2003. She has worked in surgery with OhioHealth hospitals for the last 12 years. Landis is a strong supporter of anyone becoming a living donor and shared that anyone can live with one kidney, as some are only born with one, as long as you live a healthy life taking care of the one you have. If you are interested in being a living kidney or liver donor go to: www.wexnermedical.osu.edu/transplant. Thank you Jo Del Landis for being our Hometown Hero!

Hometown Hero – Joseph Machado

SONY DSCJoseph Machado is a Hometown Hero: service above self. Machado has lived a full life, giving of himself to others unselfishly all along the way. Machado is a Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, spending 24 years of active duty military service as a communication and intelligence officer. His assignments included Vietnam (1966-67); Korea (1971-72); Germany (1974-77); Staff and Faculty at Army Command and General Staff College (1977-80); White House Communications Agency (1980-85); Defense Intelligence Agency (1985-88). Even after retirement, Machado continues to volunteer and serve on the boards of several organizations for veterans. He has been a volunteer with Honor Flight Columbus for 11 years where he has been an escort on 35 flights for over 70 veterans. He is also a board member and has managed speakers and community outreach events, developed a program to recognize senior veterans unable to travel on a traditional Honor flight, as well as created a training program to honor veterans in hospice care. Machado’s affiliations and active participation is extensive and includes: Life Member of National Military Officers Association of America-Central Ohio Chapter, Fairfield County Stand Down, American Legion Post 2557, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3761, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1045, Korean War Veterans Association, Franklin County Military and Veterans Service Court, Fairfield County Community Watch, Ohio Veterans Hall of Family-Member, Class of 2018, Hospice of Central Ohio, and Ohio’s Hospice American Pride Veteran Recognition. Machado is the founder, officer, and board member of Veteran Interfaith Bridge. This is a non-profit whose mission is to build and expand support for Ohio’s active and reserve military, veterans and their families through faith-based communities by equipping and empowering clergy and volunteers to establish military ministries within their organizations. Machado is originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, a 1960 graduate of Harvard University and a father of three. Machado and his significant other moved to Baltimore in 2007 to be closer to family. He quickly became an active member of the community, he shared that his military service helped him to realize how important community service is because “wherever I was in the military I realized there was a community around me and there were opportunities to serve there”. Machado continues to live out his motto as a board member of the Baltimore Downtown Restoration Committee, which helps to restore the Victoria Opera house and the vitality of the Village of Baltimore. He also is a men’s and veteran’s ministry leader at Violet Baptist Church in Pickerington, OH and LifeBridge Church in Baltimore, OH. Thank you Joseph Machado for being our Hometown Hero!

The 2019 Hometown Heroes will be honored as Grand Marshall in this year’s parade on August 3, 2019 in Baltimore, OH. They will also be recognized on the Main Stage at Johnson Park following the parade. Peoples Bank will provide a special opportunity for these two Heroes in their “Money Grab Pod”. Please make sure you join us for this year’s festival from August 1-3, 2019!

2019 Hometown Hero Sponsor
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