GALION — Signature Health Care of Galion held its annual Hall of Fame Awards last week, with Richard Cromley, Sandra Shelton and Tonya LaRue earning special recognition.
The idea originally started as a way to recognize residents and their contributions within their long term care facilities. Soon after, it expanded to include employees as a way “to recognize the work ethic, energy, commitment, and dedication of these special individuals who walk among us.”
Family and home were a common theme of award recipients and presenters.
Jerry Brown, the plant operations manager for Signature of Galion, spoke briefly about Cromley, who has been a volunteer at the facility for 33 years.
Cromley served with the U.S Air Force for 21 years before moving to Galion to work at the former North Electric Company. He and his wife Catherine volunteered at the nursing home to plan activities for the residents in their spare time.
When Catherine’s health failed, she was admitted to the facility as a resident until she passed away in 2009. They had been married for 52 years. After a brief break from volunteering after her passing, Cromley has been a constant presence at the building. He was honored for his Volunteerism and Distinguished Military Service.
“I consider all the people here my family.” he said when he was called up to receive his award.
The second award was presented by Russell King to long-time Signature resident Sandy Shelton.
Shelton graduated from Mansfield Business College with three degrees and supported five children as a single mother. Due to the loss of her leg from health complications, she has been a resident of Signature of Galion since 2013.
Shelton is the Resident President and is heavily involved in the activities and lives of those living at the facility.
“Sandy is not a resident. She is a member of our family,” King said. “She is one of my best friends.”
Fighting back tears, Shelton said: “Rusty is always right there for me, and this is home.”
The final award of the evening was presented by Greg Carnes, administrator for Signature Health Care, to Tonya LaRue, who has been a staff nurse since 1986. She graduated from then North Central State College with her nursing degree.
LaRue was part of a ministry team to the nursing home along with her parents, and has also taken mission trips to Mexico and worked as a Sunday School teacher a her church.
She was honored for her Academia and Volunteerism.
“It’s like family here,” LaRue said.
Each honoree was given a framed picture noting their contributions which will be displayed in the facility. All family and friends in attendance were invited to stay after for complimentary hors d’ouvres provided by Kindred Home Health.
It’s the fifth year for the event at the former Rosewood Manor Nursing Home.