Daisy Davis remembers the day well.

It was Sept. 8, 1976. The newly laid off secretary from Mayfield Chevrolet was looking for something to fill her just-opened-up schedule.

After a friend suggested she give volunteering at the hospital a chance, Davis went to the former Grove General Hospital to find out more.

"I just wanted to do something for somebody else," Davis said. "I enjoyed visiting with the patients."

She initially served as a Cheery Cherry Red volunteers - now known as the INTEGRIS Grove Hospital Auxiliary. 

Working for the two doctors, Dr. Norman Cotner, Sr., and Dr. Ronald Bortz, Davis worked at the information desk and ran the "juice bar."

At the time, Davis laughed, the juice bar cart sold everything from cigarettes, potato chips and candy. The Cheery Cherry Reds also were tasked with charging patients for telephone and television usage. 

"I was scared of the hospital at the time, so it also helped me," Davis said. "[Volunteering] taught me to respect others. I got to meet more people. It also taught me the importance of cleanliness ad how hand washing was very important."

Davis recalls a time, when the former Grove General Hospital was full, with people in beds along the hallways.

She said the advent of urgent care and other medical options has greatly reduced the number of people being admitted to the hospital. 

During her 41 years of service, Davis spent most of her time working the juice cart. Six years ago, she began helping in the admission area of the hospital. 

Less than two years ago, she recruited her daughter, Darla Mann, to join the hospital's auxiliary. Mann now volunteers in the hospital's lab.

Davis admits while she's never served as an auxiliary officer, she did chair the auxiliary's blood mobile drive for 17 years.

"I talk about [volunteering] everyday," Davis said. "I tell [people] it's a worth while activity and has its advantages, and [the volunteers] are well taken care of.

"It just gives you chance to do something for somebody else."

More about Davis

Davis and her husband, Don, moved to Grove in 1971, from Sycamore, Kansas. The couple operated Don's Swap Shop across from the former Tempy's on Highway 59 from 1971 to 2010.

"We went to Branson and were offered a place at Silver Dollar City, but they wanted too much of the percentage of business," Davis said. "So we came to Grand Lake instead."

Davis has five children, 12 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren, with the 28th on the way. She and Don were married for 49 years and two months before his death.

Unsung Sunny Heroes

As Sunny collected names, for the superhero honors, a few were nominated as collective groups or unknown individuals.

Here are a few of the volunteer items as reported to The Grove Sun:

• an unknown individual at NAPA helped an older Grove resident obtain a much needed car battery, when her funds were low.

• a group of employees from Harps helped a stranded Bonnie Durbin when she accidentally locked her keys in her vehicle. Employees took time to help Durbin - even transporting her back home for the spare key. 

• the Grove Middle School Student Council completed a service project for several area nursing home residents making sure several in the community could have Christmas complete with a new blanket, socks, candy and a card.

• members of the Starr 4-H Club used one of their December meetings to sign Christmas cards for local nursing home patients and make cat toys for the felines at the Second Chance Pet Rescue Shelter in Grove.

While Sunny the Elf has returned to the North Pole for the year, we're always looking for ideas for future feature stories.

Have a someone to nominate? Send the information to Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller, managing editor, either by phone at 918-786-2228, or by email to khutson@grovesun.com.