member Bruce Miller was presented with the Ron Russell Perseverance Award, now in its fifth year, during Wednesday.
The award honors those like Russell, who overcome personal obstacles to live their lives with dignity and happiness and inspire others to do the same. Russell, a member of the YMCA, showed perseverance by exercising steadily into his 80s.
Russell's daughter Elaine Reolfi presented Miller with the award. Here's what she had to say about Miller and other award recipients Wednesday:
Bruce Miller is “an ace of a guy,” as one nomination called him. He fought a family history of heart disease by running for many years. When arthritis and a knee replacement got in his way, he took up cycling. Over time Parkinson’s made road cycling dangerous for him and so rather than quit, he just moved inside to stationary bikes in spinning class. Stacie, his group cycling instructor, calls him her hero.
Bruce receives a plaque, a $100 certificate from Second Sole and a donation from my family in his name to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. His achievement is honored on the plaque (which he is holding in the picture) in the YMCA lobby.
This being the five-year anniversary of the award, I was moved to see so many of the previous winners still participating … still fighting, still persevering. Their great attitudes, regardless of the obstacles they are facing, are inspiring. Barb Berner, the widow of the first winner John (2008), participated in the races, as did Jon Wood (2009), Laurie Corbit (2010) and Paul Feltes (2011). Nathaniel Allen (the other 2011 winner) wasn’t at the race, but he joined the other former winners beforehand in picking Bruce as the winner. They are really an unbelievable group of people.