BY A.J. HECHTNEWS EDITOR
For just about anyone, 10,000 hours of volunteer work would be enough, but for one southeast Denver resident, that’s just the beginning.
For the past 39 years, the 97-year-old Arlene Olvey has been donating her time to Children’s Hospital Colorado and was recently recognized by the institution for her long-standing dedication to the organization, which amounts to over 10,000 hours of service.
Since retiring in 1979, Olvey has generously volunteered at the hospital and has served countless families who have been to the Aurora hospital for care. Her first role upon joining the volunteer staff was at the information desk, where she provided families assistance with things like finding hotels and navigating the city. In her spare time, she put together an entire directory for families to utilize while in the Denver metro-area.
Later, Olvey moved on to the surgical waiting room, where she comforted and assisted families whose children were undergoing surgery.
About 20 years ago, Olvey moved from the waiting room to the hospital’s consignment shop, La Cache, located at the corner of 4th Avenue and Downing St., where she helps to run the store, which sells antiques, furniture, jewelry and other items to benefit Children’s Hospital Colorado.
And even after receiving her 10,000 hour pin–she thinks there might only be one other volunteer to ever receive the honor–Olvey doesn’t want to stop.
Driven by her son Kent’s stay in the hospital when he was a child in the 1950s and her late husband, Ralph, who had Multiple Sclerosis, Olvey plans on continuing to help the hospital raise money for years to come.
“As long as I have my health,” she said, “I’ll continue to volunteer.”
Although it may seem that way, volunteering isn’t all Olvey does.
In her spare time, Olvey goes out to lunch and shops, and also does all her own yardwork–except mowing–in addition to being an avid investor. While keeping up with the financial news by reading Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, Olvey says she’s made a few brokers envious, while also managing her late husband’s trust.
But no matter what her hobbies and passions are, Olvey would have always found the time to help the kids at Children’s.
A lot of people retire at 65, and no matter how much you golf or swim,” she said, “there’s always time to give back.”
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