GREENVILLE – For some, it never happens, but for Bruce Miller it seems he was born to give volunteer service.
Miller, of Greenville, received the 2017 Outstanding Senior Citizen’s Award at Darke County’s Annual Senior Citizen Day, May 10, at Romer’s Catering, in Greenville.
“Volunteers can do things that professionals can’t for people,” Miller said. “It is an outward expression of an inward feeling of love for people you may never see or know, but that feeling is still there.”
After recognizing folks in the room who had previously won the award, President of Darke County Senior Outreach Mindy Stebbins read Miller’s nomination.
“‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’ – Gandhi. This quote could not be truer when it comes to Bruce Miller. Bruce lives an exemplary life serving others. He was an Eagle Scout, in 1951 at age 15, and enjoyed serving others in his missions with the Scouts. Bruce traveled oversees for two months with the Scouts, where he served many hours of community service, as well as his many countless hours during his years in scouting. In 1957, Bruce started his professional football career with the Baltimore Colts. He put his whole heart and soul in the career and played there for three years, when he retired to move onto his next new chapter.”
“Bruce then went to work for a national harvester, where he worked 40 years. He married the love of his life on May 5, 1957, when they began volunteering and serving those around them. Bruce and his wife fostered 128 children over nine years – the youngest being 8 – hours – old. The couple housed nine exchange students and gave countless hours to the area youth. When Bruce lost his wife, four years ago, he decided to come to the State of the Heart (Care), to volunteer. Bruce has been an amazing asset to our family at State of the Heart Care, and he will go above and beyond the call of duty whenever he is asked. He has volunteered countless hours at State of the Heart: he volunteers to get flowers for our patients, run the courier route to the other offices, does medicine runs at any time of the day or night to any area of service where a patient has a need.”
“He works any fund-raising event that we have, takes supplies out to our families and helps with our special yearly projects, like poinsettias we give to each patient at Christmas. I have never met someone so willing and eager to give themselves to others as Bruce. He always goes above and beyond and always has a smile on his face doing it. Bruce truly does live to help others. He also volunteers at a veterinary clinic, taking animals to and from appointments for the elderly. who cannot drive and take their animals out. No matter the job or task, Bruce is always there with a smile willing to help. Bruce refers to his life as a great life, and gets enjoyment from helping others. To become a master at any skill, it takes a total effort of your heart, mind and soul working together in tandem. It is my great, great honor to give this award to my friend Bruce Miller.”
In addition to Miller, a total of 369 senior citizens rolled into Romer’s Catering to celebrate their day.
“It is a day to honor them and let them know we appreciate them,” Stebbins said. “We are working towards the goal of having events like this more often. The reason it is so popular is that there are no longer any congregate meal sites. (Community Action Partnership) CAP did it for awhile, but they lost the funding. That is why we developed Darke County Senior Outreach and became a 501(c)(3) about one-and-a-half years ago. Now we are trying to get a building for a Senior Center – that is our goal. We are talking to some other agencies to see if we can partner together to make a Senior Center happen.”
Greenville Mayor Steve Willman was on-site to greet the seniors and help pass out plates of food. He said Greenville needs a Senior Citizen’s Center.
“For awhile, it was an item that everyone was talking about.” he said. “I think we should start talking about doing it again. People have talked about grants and all they could come up with are matching grants. They have been told that they need to get a levy. This is the group that controls that, we are mostly a senior community. To ask them for more money, it benefits them, but it is more money going out and many of them are on fixed incomes. It is something to sit down and think about.”
Bruce Miller said events like the Senior Citizen Day are important.
“These people have a lot of time on their hands and they welcome the opportunity to get out and see each other,” he said. “If you are feeling bad and you get out and see other people, all of a sudden you don’t feel so bad because there is somebody there worse than you.”
Sponsors for the event, included: Zecher Bailey Funeral Home, Community Action Partnership, Wayne HealthCare Foundation and Wayne HealthCare, State of the Heart Care, Comprehensive Health Network, Oakley Place, Rest Haven, Catholic Social Services, Darke County United Way, Brookdale Greenville, Reid Specialty Physicians of Greenville, the Versailles Health Care Center, Village Green Health Campus, Premiere Health, Medicine and More and medicine and more and Spirit Medical Transport.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.
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