by CLAIRE WEBER
Karol Carter, the 2017 Leadership Troy Distinguished Citizen, is the volunteer every organization wants. She reliably does the jobs that need to be done. She washes windows, and puts away folding chairs. Karol Carter picks up debris as she walks her dog!
Carter, a retired veterinarian and long-time resident of Northfield Hills Condominiums says when she was nine or ten years old she was already contemplating a career choice.
“I thought I would either be a forest ranger or a veterinarian,” she says.
“Being in a tower in the middle of the woods seemed too lonesome, so veterinarian was the choice.”
She graduated from Michigan State University in 1970 and with a partner went into practice in Detroit, where they allied with the Michigan Anti Cruelty League, and where there was the most need. She characterizes their clientele as, “interesting.”
Even before retirement, Carter was a primary fixture around the Northfield Hills Condominium community.
“I want to do things that are fun and relaxing and there are always activities going on around here,” she comments. She will be the one helping artists set up for Art-On-the-Lake, and cleaning up when the event closes. She works on the grounds committee and has helped with the river clean up flowing into the Beechwood Lake.
Carter is quick to admit that her favorite volunteer activities are the ones that get her outside. The Troy Garden Club is another major beneficiary of her industrious work ethic. She has been President of the group and Garden Walk Chairman three times. She actively participates with their sister project, the Troy Historic Village, where they do all of the gardens, the Christmas tree in the gazebo, and the Hanging of the Greens. She’s always at the perennial plant exchange, and she waters the beds at the library during the dry spells.
Though she would be a shoo-in for the boards of all of these volunteer groups and has served on many of them, Carter prefers to work rather than discuss the agenda. She walks the walk. Ask the Stage Nature Center, another priority project.
There, she works the receptionist desk as well as taking care of the live indoor animals the kids love. She monitors the bluebird houses and will show you photos of their hatching evolution. She’ll also be available at the Ice Cream Social, the Maple Syrup Tapping and the Pancake Breakfast.
In this limited space, it is impossible to enumerate all of her activities. When she’s not outside, she also plays Bingo and does field trips with the seniors at the Sunrise Assisted Living Center.
Recounting her seemingly endless energy is enough to make a normal person weary. In spite of this perpetual activity, Carter comments with sincerity. “I have so much fun!
“I pick the things I like to do and get much more out of it than I put in. I love meeting people who are like-minded, there are wonderful connections.
“There is always something to do to make a difference,” says Carter.
“I’ve lived in Troy so long, I’ve bonded with the city — I want these organizations to succeed.”
Thank you, Karol Carter.