A long time friend to the elderly in Calcasieu Parish is saying goodbye. Toni Caraway has been the director of the Calcasieu Council on Aging for seventeen years. She's decided it's time to retire.
Whether it's Meals on Wheels..finding a fan for a low income senior who can't afford to run the air conditioner-- or just getting dressed up and helping older folks celebrate life-- Toni Caraway has been there for local elderly with her engaging smile and upbeat personality.
For seventeen years she ran the agency and helped introduce many new services over the years. She admits, she considered it a ministry."I'm finished God's work. I'm done. I've done everything that I know humanly possible to do and his work is finished and i'm finished his work. And it's time for me to retire with my husband and start a new life."
More than 200 people turned out for a retirement celebration to honor Toni and her dedicated service to the aging agency. "We have really grown by leaps and bounds and it's because we love the elderly and the people I hire love the elderly."
Now 65 years old herself, Toni and her husband Bobby plan to move back to Houma where they can be close to family. "love Lake Charles and I'm going to miss it very, very much."
Toni's successor is Jackie Green who hopes to continue her legacy. Says Toni, "She's just like me and has a lot of energy and she's going to do a wonderful job." Green says, "I just wish Ms. Toni the best in her future endeavors and we're going to make her proud. We're going to continue to have an agency that's one of the top in the state."
Green says and many agree..the little lady with the soft spot in her heart for seniors will be greatly missed. Happy retirement Toni!