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Sept. 10, 2003


    OSWEGO -- Patti Crucitti never expects any recognition from volunteering. That's why she was surprised to learn she had won the Bernie G. Henderson Community Service Award, given for outstanding volunteer contribution by a SUNY Oswego employee.

    Given the many community causes she supports, the recognition for Crucitti, a maintenance assistant assigned to the paint shop at SUNY Oswego, is hardly surprising. In nominating Crucitti for the award, co-worker Anne Demm cited a long list of volunteer activities, from working with the Salvation Army to forming a breast cancer survivors' group on campus.

    Asked why she dedicates so much of her time to helping others, Crucitti just shrugs. Her volunteering is ultimately done for "self-satisfaction," Crucitti said. "I think that's what life's about."

    A campus employee since 1990, Crucitti has helped serve Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners at the Salvation Army for more than a decade. When her children were in school, she helped the Buccaneer Boosters raise money for Oswego High School athletes for several years.

    For nearly 15 years, she has helped register teams for Softball in the Snow, an annual on-campus event that supports Special Olympics. She has also coached four sports for that organization.

    After losing friends to breast cancer, Crucitti took up the cause of helping raise funds and supporting survivors. While she has not had the disease, she helped found the breast cancer survivors' group that meets on campus every Thursday.

    "We walk in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk in Syracuse every year in support of friends and loved ones," she said. Crucitti has done the walk for about a decade, while the campus group started participating after forming a few years ago.

    Crucitti plants flowers in local parks through the Greater Oswego Chamber of Commerce's Project Bloom. She serves as a resource for Crossroads, Right to Know and Triangle of Truth, organizations that help adopted children find their birth parents.

    She currently is training for Red Cross certification to help with emergencies and disasters. That
direction came about naturally, when she volunteered to assist people displaced by the ice storm in April.

    "The children are all grown," Crucitti said of her two daughters. "Volunteering gives me something to
do in my spare time."

    The Bernie G. Henderson Community Service Award, established in 2001 as part of SUNY Oswego's annual employee recognition program, is named for the retired vice president for finance and budget known for his longstanding service with many community organizations.

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