Mercy Volunteer Celebrates 50th Year

Nancy Gray (center) was honored on Jan. 4 for 50 years of volunteer work at Mercy Allen Hospital in Oberlin. On hand for the recognition were colleague volunteers Jean Brodwell, Cathy Hromada, Kathy Carpenter, Bea Clapp, Pat Straub, June Bailey, Mary Ann Johnson, Marcia Heckert and Ann Findlan.

Nancy Gray (center) was honored on Jan. 4 for 50 years of volunteer work at Mercy Allen Hospital in Oberlin. On hand for the recognition were colleague volunteers Jean Brodwell, Cathy Hromada, Kathy Carpenter, Bea Clapp, Pat Straub, June Bailey, Mary Ann Johnson, Marcia Heckert and Ann Findlan.

Volunteers like Nancy Gray are the heart and soul of an organization. Few volunteers can match the half-century of time and love Gray invested at Mercy Allen Hospital in Oberlin.

Gray was honored last week at Mercy Allen as colleagues, hospital leadership and staff recognized the 50 years she has been at the heart of the volunteer corps there.

“We had just moved to town and I got a call to see if would be interested in heading the Candy Stripers,” said Gray of her beginnings. She started volunteering at Mercy Allen in 1966.

“In those days, volunteering was just something you did. I said yes,” said Gray, who is retiring. Over the years, she has met with virtually everyone in town and from every walk of life through her work with Allen Hospital.

“It was always the people,” she said. “So many wonderful people.”

In the years since, the Candy Striper program (for youth volunteers who wore red and white striped uniforms), was retired. But Gray not only moved on to chair Auxiliary committees but also served as president, treasurer and membership director.

Her husband, the late Dr. Ted Gray, was a highly regard OBGYN in the Oberlin area. Their contacts through the hospital, church, and community added to richness of Gray’s community legacy.

Now, says Gray, the time is right to move on. Gray said she plans to stay in Oberlin and find another good cause to support. She also works with Saturday food distribution for the Oberlin community center and has worked on committees for the Oberlin Heritage Center.

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