Pay It Forward salutes Monmouth woman for compassionate service to seniors

MONMOUTH, Illinois -

Inside the Strom Center, senior news is hot off the press in the latest monthly newsletter.  That's where you'll find Executive Director Carol McCrery.

"If it wasn't for her, this place wouldn't be here," said longtime participant Mary Hasting.

McCrery's been leading the way through changes and challenges since 1988.

"She helps everybody," Hasting continued.  "If you've got a question or a problem, you go to Carol."

A recent exercise class symbolizes its mission.  It connects seniors with services and activities in Warren and Henderson Counties.

"This is the place where people get their answers," said co-worker Lynda Accardo, who nominated her to "Pay It Forward."

"I'm paying it forward $300 for all your wonderful dedication at the Strom Center throughout the years," she continued.

Accardo praises McCrery for her caring outreach.

"To me, she's a solid oak tree," Accardo said.  "She's got tons of branches, and she just gives -- gives from this end, gives from that end, just constantly giving."

It's the kind of commitment that's catching the eye of Ascentra Credit Union.

"She is such an amazing woman, who has done so much for the Strom Center over the last 30 years," said Ally Davis, Ascentra Credit Union.  "At Ascentra, we believe in listening, caring and doing what's right, and Carol is a perfect example of this."

While it's tough to juggle funding sources these days, the Strom Center's Thrift Shop also raises money and provides free clothes for the needy.

"It's really important that we be here," said McCrery.  "We should be their contact persons, so that we can filter out and get them the help they need."

Help that takes a strong leader and lots of teamwork to make it succeed.

"She's constantly working to make things better for everyone," Accardo said.

At the Strom Center, sharing their good news, hot off the press in Monmouth.

The Strom Center is at 211 South A Street in Monmouth, Illinois.  It's open Monday-Friday from 8:30-4.  For more information about programs and services, call (309) 734-5677 or by email,  stromseniors@gmail.com.