Donald R. Carroll was born in Kansas City, Kansas, but after losing both parents at an early age he and one of his sisters ended up being raised by an aunt they had never met in Oakfield, NY.
Donald's formal education began at Oakfield-Alabama Central School. His humility, shyness, and quiet behavior did not stop him from playing varsity basketball for OACS as a student, and they didn't stop him from making a big difference in the lives of youth and less fortunate as an adult. All of his early life experiences would play a role in shaping the man he would become.
In 1974, when many of his classmates from the Class of 74 were heading off to college, Donald joined the work force and proceeded with his lifelong ambition of helping less fortunate children. Until his death, Donald lived by his motto, "Pay it Forward." During his lifetime he raised thousands of dollars for needy kids. He started by organizing a biathlon to raise money to send kids to camp and ran this project for 23 years. Donald then decided to focus his fund-raising on assisting with college expenses of needy students by providing scholarships at Genesee Community College. To accomplish this he organized annual 5K and 10K runs. In 2003 Donald decided to raise money for the purpose of purchasing toys for needy children, thus insuring hundreds of underprivileged children were not disappointed on Christmas morning. Donald R. Carroll, the quiet, shy orphan who by chance grew up in Oakfield, NY, became a true "Guardian Angel" of the less fortunate children of Genesee County.
Despite preferring to achieve results rather than garner recognition, Donald has received numerous awards and certificates for his humanitarian efforts. In 1997 the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce honored Donald as Geneseean of the Year. He was inducted into the Oakfield-Alabama Alumni Hall of Fame in 2009. The City of Batavia recognized Donald as the City of Batavia Volunteer of the Year in 2010. In 2012 he was named the Ultimate Game Changer of New York and Vermont by MVP Health Care. Three months before his death, the Batavia Rotary Club presented Donald with their Community Volunteer Award for 2013.
The lives of hundreds of young people have been enriched because of the efforts and generosity of Donald R. Carroll. For this reason Don’s legacy will continue through the Donald R. Carroll Memorial 5K Run/Fun Walk and other fund raising activities.