“I’m very thankful and grateful, but I don’t know that it should have been me. I was just doing my job,” Crystal said.
UCH President and CEO Rev. Kenneth Daniel presented Crystal with the award at a Donor Appreciation Dinner in July in Beavercreek, Ohio. The award celebrates people who have done something of such merit to significantly advance United Church Homes’ mission to transform Aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace.
For more than 35 years, Crystal served as director of activities and volunteers at Trinity Community, a United Church Homes life plan community in Beavercreek. She retired from the position earlier this year.
“The job needs youth and it needs energy. I still can get my job done, but I think it takes me a lot longer than it used to,” said Crystal, who is 69 years old. “We’re growing leaps and bounds, but we’re still small enough to get to know all of our residents.”
Her relationships with residents and their families are directly responsible for more than $1.1 million in donations.
Crystal was responsible for asking for a $1 million donation from a former resident that led to the expansion of the Roy R. and Virginia Sultzbach Healthcare Center, Trinity Administrator Laura Farrell said.
She also was involved with a $100,000 donation for the development of the community’s memory care neighborhood that Trinity named after donor Lofton Philips, the brother of a former resident.
“When you do this kind of work, you get to know the people and the families. Some need more care than others so you just give. Sometimes they pay us back with honorary gifts and donations. But it’s never one staff member. It’s all of us,” Crystal said.
She was inducted into the Greene County Women’s Hall of Fame, established key relationships with local United Church of Christ congregations that donated time and financial support to Trinity residents and created intergenerational programs with Beavercreek City Schools.
Her efforts earned commendations including the Citizens Advocate Award from the Beavercreek Education Foundation and the 1997 Governor George Voinovich Award for Intergenerational Programs.
“I cannot imagine our community today without the service of Crystal,” Laura said. “Crystal has served our residents and community as director of activities and volunteers, not just in longevity but with compassion and service. At all times, she has exemplified the mission and vision of United Church Homes.”