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Troxell named oustanding volunteer by SHIP

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By Matt Goldman

Staff writer and photographer

To call Polly Troxell a people person would be a bit of an understatement. The title alone does not do her justice. A few anecdotes, however, provide a more accurate representation.

Once, on vacation in Yellowstone National Park, Polly and her husband went to see the renowned tourist attraction, Old Faithful. Polly, as it turned out, had a different agenda. When she spotted what she referred to as an "interesting looking fellow," Old Faithful took a backseat.

"I didn't want to watch the geyser," Troxell said. "I wanted to talk to him instead and he turned out to be fascinating."

Troxell has an uncanny knack for striking up a conversation with just about anyone, even celebrities.

On another occasion, she went to see a live performance from Bill Cosby. Sitting in the front row, something about her grabbed Cosby's attention. The two then exchanged witty banter for the next fifteen minutes in front of the entire audience.

"My husband was bright red" she said.

Troxell's ability to connect with people like the man at the geyser, Bill Cosby and just about everyone in between likely has much to do with the recognition she recently received.

A volunteer at the senior center, Troxell recently was awarded the 2007 State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), outstanding volunteer by the Kentucky Department of Aging and Independent Living.

Since Part D of The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization act was put in place in 2006, Troxell has been working tirelessly to help those who cannot afford it receive prescriptions by way of subsidized costs.

In the first three months of the program, Troxell helped 122 Henry County residents sign up for the program and receive the medicine they needed. Since then she's helped countless others do the same. In order to get the word out about the program, Troxell even went so far as to do a commercial for News 3 WAVE, urging people to see if they qualified for the program.

"This project has been my baby," Troxell said. "Some people don't understand how the program works or have trouble with the paperwork. It's my job to help them through the process."

As a result of her dedication, Troxell began acquiring a name for herself that went beyond the county. Even people from Louisville have contacted her for assistance.

A lifelong resident of Henry County, Troxell got her start in human services as a Clerk at the Charter Hospital Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center in La Grange. It was there that she found her calling.

"I adored that job. I was always able to get people to talk and open up about their problems," she said. They would come in with an addiction and go out clean. It was a very rewarding experience.

After ten years at the Charter Hospital, Troxell left, only to find that after a brief hiatus, she was getting a bit restless and in 2000 she began volunteering in Henry County. Luckily for the county, she has no intention of slowing down any time soon.

"I'll do this as long as I'm able to," she said. "Whether it's in line at Kroger, at a Geyser, here or anywhere else, there is always a window of opportunity to talk to people and help them."

When she's not volunteering, Troxell prefers to spend her time with family. She has four children, ten grandchildren, five great grandchildren and a husband of 50 years.

E-mail us about this article at news@hclocal.com