Her volunteerism began early in life. She was born and raised in Saranac Lake, NY. As a young woman she had enormous respect for nurses and volunteered for the “Gray Ladies”, a volunteer group of the American Red Cross which was founded in 1918 at Walter Reed Army Hospital. In 1954, Lorraine married her husband, George, an officer in the United States Air Force and together they traveled the world. When it came time to put down roots they decided to settle in Farmington to become part of a community and raise their four children.
It was here that her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for philanthropy took hold. She had a vision for this place she now called home. With the support and assistance from her husband she embarked upon a journey to paint, repair and rebuild old buildings in her community and turn them into prosperous establishments and companies. Her goal was to capture the historic essence of the buildings but make them new. The revitalization resulted in a new shoe factory providing employment for 100 people and offices for a dentist, an attorney, a barbershop, and apartments for the elderly.
She also became a widely renowned antique dealer and proprietor of the Olde Brush Factory and later Ye Olde Shoe Shoppe, collecting a wide variety of artifacts throughout New England and the world. An active Mom, Lorraine volunteered for the Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts when her children were young, and was a substitute teacher in Farmington schools. For many years was an active member of the Farmington Ambulance Corps-responding to emergencies day and night driving the ambulance, taking blood pressures, performing CPR and even delivering babies.
“When you speak with Lorraine you can hear the passion in her voice when she talks about the community”, states Susan Paquette, the Director of Advancement at Cornerstone VNA. “She has always felt compelled to make a difference with the hope of making things better. And you can see her good work and the impact she has had when you look at all those buildings. But what you can’t see is how she inspired so many as a mentor, or the moments that she directly touched someone’s life as a “Gray Lady”, an ambulance attendant and a Hospice Volunteer.”
Lorraine Meyer was honored, not for a year of giving, but for a long history and sustained effort of exceptional generosity and passionately working for the greater good of others. She continues to leave her mark on the community through her charitable work, leadership and inspirational philanthropy.
Read the entire article in the December 4 Edition of the Rochester Times at http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20141204/GJCOMMUNITY04/141209820/-1/ROCTIMES