Ron & Shirley—Through the Years
About the Filmmakers
My First Encounter with Strong Love
by Maggie Gore
IT WAS SEPTEMBER OF 2012, and at the beginning of that month, I received the exciting news that I had been accepted as the new Public Relations intern for the American Red Cross in Hampton. I obviously anticipated learning invaluable public relations skills, but little did I know at the time, this internship would afford me the chance to cross paths with a man who would change my life forever. That man was Ron Strong.
I sat anxiously in the waiting room chair and flinched as a bead of sweat zigzagged down my back. I scanned the walls, reading the chapter’s mission statement and examining the black and white pictures of Red Cross volunteers providing assistance to their community. After a few minutes passed, a young woman named Emily, who had interviewed me for the position, walked into the lobby. She welcomed me with open arms and escorted me to the back office to meet, as she referred to them as, the “team.”
As the Volunteer Coordinator for the chapter, Emily had her hands full. Based on the greetings from her co-workers as we passed through the hallway, you could easily tell that she had established a strong rapport with them. She first introduced me to the Chapter Director, Ms. Heather Livingston, followed by the Event Coordinator, Ms. Roxanne Kohlman, who would also serve as a mentor. Already, I could tell there was great energy in the office. Ms. Kohlman and I proceeded to talk about P.R. plans and goals for the semester. Amidst all of the planning and excitement, I heard a man walking down the hallway, giggling and chit-chatting with a co-worker. The laughter and positive energy grew closer until a older man with big brown eyes popped his head through the office door.
“Hey there! You must be our new intern, Miss Maggie! My name is Ron Strong; I am the Public Relations Director for both the Williamsburg and Hampton chapters. We are just so excited to have you here. Welcome to our family!” said Ron enthusiastically.
And just like that, all my anxious thoughts and fears were alleviated and I felt at home. He was genuine and full of God’s grace. It wouldn’t be long before this man would share the wisdom and insight that would change the way I lived forever. ◊
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Ron & Shirley Strong—A story of "strong love."
Ron and the Pope.
A poem Shirley gave to Ron for Valentine's Day.
Shirley at work in the present day.
Ron at work in the present day.
Ron & Shirley celebrate during a Christmas past.
Shirley on her wedding day.
At their wedding reception.
Ron & Shirley today.
SARAH CROUSE was very
MAGGIE GORE graduated from
Christopher Newport University May 2013 with a degree in Communication Studies and minor in Journalism. She is from Newburyport, Mass. With a strong passion for photography, writing, and working with the elderly, the Wisdom of Age Project was highly exciting for her. The project not only helped her to develop video editing and documentary storytelling techniques, but also helped her to get to gain team-working skills and understand her subjects, Ron and Shirley, on a level that she never would have experienced. After graduation, Maggie plans to work for a network marketing coffee company, called Organo Gold, and eventually move back to Massachusetts to be with her family.
excited to use her experience in video editing and filming in this course. Working with Ron and Shirley was a fantastic experience, and she is so grateful for their help and endless encouragement. Upon graduating in May, with a degree in Communication Studies, as well as in Leadership and Civic Engagement & Social Entrepreneurship., Sarah plans on holding a job in Public Relations, Communications, or Development for a nonprofit organization.
films by Sarah Crouse & Maggie Gore
Ron and Shirley exemplify a selfless couple, who have not only dedicated their lives to each other, but have touched thousands of lives nationwide.
—“Love never fails,” 1 Corinthians 13:8
Video interviews with Ron & Shirley
"Strong Love" (5:15)
"Ron in the Military" (3:19)
"Full Circle" (1:51)