Donald Carroll, '74

Yearbook image of Donald Carroll
Current image of Donald Carroll

Donald R. Carroll was born in Kansas City, Kansas, but he and one of his sisters ended up being raised by an aunt in Oakfield, NY after losing both parents at an early age.

Donald's formal education began at Oakfield-Alabama Central School. Donald's humility, shyness, and quiet behavior did not stop him from playing varsity basketball for OACS as a student, and they didn't stop him from making a big difference in the lives of youth and less fortunate as an adult. All of his early life experiences would play a role in shaping the man he would become.

In 1974, when many of his classmates from the Class of 74 were heading off to college, Donald joined the work force and proceeded with his life long ambition of helping less fortunate children. For the last 35 years Donald has lived by his motto, "Pay it Forward." During this time he has raised thousands of dollars for needy kids. He started by organizing a biathlon to raise money to send kids to camp and ran this project for 23 years. Donald then decided to focus his fund-raising on assisting with college expenses of needy students by providing scholarships at Genesee Community College. To accomplish this he organized annual 5K and 10K runs. In 2003 Donald decided to raise funds for toys for needy children, thus insuring every underprivileged child he was aware of was not disappointed on Christmas morning. This project has recently been expanded to provide grade school kids with supplies for school and winter coats. Donald R. Carroll, the quiet, shy orphan who by chance grew up in Oakfield, NY, has become a true "Guardian Angel" of the less fortunate children of Genesee County.

Despite preferring to achieve results rather than garner recognition, Donald has received numerous awards and certificates for his humanitarian efforts. 1997 the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce honored Donald as Geneseean of the Year. The lives of hundreds of young people have been enriched because of the efforts and generosity of Donald R. Carroll, an exemplary OACS alumnus.

Donald credits his success to having grown up in Oakfield and attending OACS where one individual in particular took a special interest in him. Donald will always be indebted to Coach Bill Burns for guiding him in high school, and getting him his first job as a counselor at YMCA Camp Hough.