Thirteen honorees, including Delaware County resident Diane Croy, were recognized Wednesday for their accomplishments and volunteerism at the 44th Annual Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame Recognition Ceremony held at the Martin Janis Center in Columbus.
The Hall of Fame honors Central Ohio older adults who share their dedication, talent, and vitality in ways that significantly improve their communities and the lives of others. The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging hosts the event each May during Older Americans Month, which celebrates the contributions of senior citizens.
Croy, who was nominated for the HOF by Carrie Ison, volunteers her time to the Grady Memorial Hospital’s emergency room. Croy is not just a volunteer; she is a member of a family. She provides homecooked meals for the emergency room workers. Croy serves as a support system; she’s there with a smiling face cheering on staff and caring for them through good times and bad. She goes out of her way to honor doctors, nurses, and EMS workers. She considers the staff her children and her family, and she is grateful to serve them.
Croy’s volunteer hours over her lifetime is truly remarkable. She has contributed more than 23,500 hours during a 40-year span. She volunteers three to four days a week and normally volunteers five or more hours during those days. While the statistics of her service can be counted, what is immeasurable is the positive impact she has had on the people she helps.
She also runs specimens to the lab and gets visitors and patients anything they may need, from a warm blanket to a cup of coffee. She brings in toys and games to children in the emergency room department. She will do any type of task (within policy) that is asked of her.
During all holidays, Croy hangs decorations in all departments of the hospital. She cleans and makes sure the department has the decorations to reflect any upcoming holiday.
She is a member of the Grady Memorial Advisory Council, where the council meets every three or four months to discuss volunteer assignments in the hospital. Croy also served as vice president of the Advisory Council.
“Her leadership and innate qualities of flexibility, energy, integrity and sacrifice have been building blocks which have helped grow the volunteer program from 30 to 60 active volunteers,” said OhioHealth Volunteer Director Alicia Sprau.
To show how truly valued Croy is, the emergency room staff collected money and presented it to her at the annual Christmas party after she was in a car accident. They continue to purchase gifts for her, not because they think they have to, but because they care deeply for her and believe that thanking her over-and-over is just not enough.
Croy has received many awards and kind words from patients and staff and recently won first runner-up for the Senior of the Year.
Along with volunteering for Grady Memorial Hospital, Croy also serves in many church activities at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Delaware. She is a deacon for her church, and she has participated in several church fundraisers.
Croy volunteers at the Strand Theater at least one night a week and more often when they need extra help. She also completes tasks as part of the Delaware Citizen’s Police Academy, where she enjoys making food for all shifts at the police department.
And in December of 2013, Croy was chosen to officially light the tree for the Light Up a Life event at Grady Memorial Hospital where family and friends can honor and remember loved ones. She participated in the event to honor and remember her loved one, Richard E. Smale. Croy also honored Richard in a quilting project that remembers those who were in hospice care. She quilted a patch in memory of Richard.
This story was submitted by the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging.