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Owen Countian of the Year: At 92, Olds still gives to community

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By Molly Haines

The lyrics to “Happy Birthday To You” rang out from beneath the pavilion at the Owen County Fairgrounds July 14 as the crowd that gathered sang to this year’s recipient of the Owen Countian of the Year award.
At 92 years old, Lenora Kelly Olds continues to contribute to the community, whether it be by investing time with Relay For Life or her weekly engagement at Owenton Center.  
The Owen Countian of the Year award is presented each year during the fair by the Owenton Rotary Club.
Olds said she had no idea she was receiving the award.
“I was shocked,” Olds said. “My daughter rolled me up there, but I still didn’t know what was going on. My son from Springfield, Ohio was here and I wondered what he was doing back because he had just been here the night before, but I didn’t have any idea what was going on.”
Olds joined the Owen County Extension Homemakers Club in 1947 and continues to be active with the club today. In 2012, she was honored with a statewide volunteer of the year award for her dedication to the homemakers’ mission throughout the county and state.
Olds, a cancer survivor, has also invested a great deal of time and energy with Owen County’s Relay For Life.
Olds also played the piano and organ at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church for many years.
But it’s her time with the seniors at Owenton Center each Thursday morning that took the spotlight during the presentation.
“She gives our seniors an hour filled with fun, love, laughter, music and prayer,” a nominating letter from the Recreation Department of the Owenton Center said. “From the minute she rolls in the door, her love for what she does echoes down the hallway and adds a little cheer in the air with her friendly ‘Hello! Good morning! I’m here!’”
Olds follows up by greeting the residents with a hug and a kiss.
“It goes to show you can never be too old to make a difference in someone’s life,” the letter continued. “Miss Lenora Kelly Olds is a person who gives freely of herself and makes a difference in the lives of everyone who has the pleasure of meeting her.”
Olds said she doesn’t expect any recognition for the things she does.
“I don’t expect anything,” Olds said. “I do it for others, not for me. I get a lot out of going to (Owenton Center), I’ll keep doing it as long as I can.”