Meet the inspiring Hamilton residents honored by the City of Character Committee

Hamilton’s City of Character Committee recognized seven citizens at its awards dinner on Wednesday at the Wilks Conference Center at Miami Regionals Hamilton campus.

The student honorees include Madelyn Bolser, third grade student at Ridgeway Elementary School, and Rachel Carter, a senior at Hamilton High School.

Adult honorees for his year are Michael Folkes, Shaquila Mathews, Shan Qureshi, and Joanne Wallisch. The lifetime achievement honoree is Ralph “Pat” Carruthers.


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The committee is honoring those from the area who exemplify and live out some or all the the character traits that the committee was founded on. Those traits are acceptance, compassion, honesty, respect, and responsibility, according to Brandi Carder of the organization.

“We received many nominations for deserving people which validates that the Hamilton community is blessed with many people of good character,” said Steve Lippert, chair of the committee.

Here are parts of the nominations for the adult honorees:

• “Michael Folkes built his own company and has encouraged, hired, and accepted employees who have struggled with the law who may not otherwise find employment. His compassion for his workers is evident to all who observe his organization. Michael has created a”Mighty in Character” program which he gladly shares with schools and companies.”

• “I heartily recommend Shan Qureshi for the Heroes of Character Award. I have known Shan for about four and a half years through our common involvement on the Hamilton City of Character Council. This voluntary board promotes positive character in Hamilton schools,businesses, government and churches. When I joined the council, Shan was a Miami University senior and President of the University’s character organization—Project Civility.”

• “Shaquila Mathews or Pastor Shaq as she is known, is someone who daily amazes me because her heart for people and especially the youth is so caring and concerned and always thinking on how she can help improve there situation and create opportunities for them to be great and the best person they can be. She really cares for them and about there well being.”

• “Joanne Wallsich is an exemplary Hero of Character. I know Joanne through the 17 Strong Advisory Board, where she volunteers. Joanne just has a warm presence about her. All the 17Strong Advisory Board members are some of the hardest working and compassionate volunteers you can find, but Joanne stands out. She has been pivotal in the development and growth of 17 Strong, in particular in outreach efforts to engage residents and supporting neighborhood efforts.”

• “My father (Pat Carruthers) shows acceptance everyday for everyone he meets. He knows no strangers and is generous to a fault with everyone. I always had been. When he finds out someone or some organization is in need, he immediately goes into trying to find out the best way of helping them. His compassion for his fellow man is profound and difficult to find in this day And age. His whole body is loaded with shrapnel from protecting another officer in battle. At 87 he still stands when a lady enters the room and never complains of an ache or pain because he wants to know how you are doing!”

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