Crabb named Difference Maker of the Year

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Krisi Crabb was named the Greene County Daily World's Difference Maker of the Year. She was presented a plaque by General Manager Christy Lehman and Regional Manager Jeanne Burris.
By Shad Cox

Krisi Crabb was named the 2019 Difference Maker of the Year during the Greene County Daily World’s fourth annual banquet Thursday night.

“Is it a cliche to say it’s just an honor to be nominated?” Crabb said with a laugh after her name was called. “This year has been a whirlwind. I’m very much surprised and honored to be recognized tonight.”

During the Difference Makers Banquet, 10 finalists were recognized at the Goose Pond Lodge and Retreat.

Those recognized included:

• April Bland and Jeff Lehman

• Kelly Cochren

• Krisi Crabb

• Jessica Lauderdale

• Debbie McDonald

• Brian Patterson

• Andrew Perkins

• Warren and Susan Shake

• Susan Smith

• Rick West

It was Crabb’s lifestyle of trial and triumph that pushed her to the top of the list. With every hit she has taken in the last decade, she has come back with a kindness and passion that not many can emulate.

A multiple sclerosis diagnosis that should have left her in a wheelchair at this point in her life helped guide her to help others through Faithful Fitness, the 501(c)3 non-profit group that she leads where she reminds those in the class that their body is a temple.

When her son, Eli, was diagnosed with autism, instead of sitting back and accepting that there were few resources in our area, she became the resource with the creation of the Greene-Sullivan Autism Support Group.

She even authored a book, with the help of her husband Joey, called “A Puzzle Half-Finished” to detail their journey and help others in their own walk with autism.

But, in Crabb’s mind, there was never any other option but to keep moving forward, by God’s grace, and grabbing the hands of those who need help along the way.

“We all have had things handed to us that were not what we expected to be handed. It’s not what your circumstances are. It’s what you do with those circumstances that matter,” Crabb said.

And, in true Krisi Crabb fashion, she extended her success to the individuals she has surrounding her.

She credited everyone who supports her family, including their son who is affectionately referred to as “The Captain.”

“Everybody follows me on Facebook for Eli. No one’s actually on there for me,” Crabb joked.

“The amount of support that we received surrounding Eli and the love that we have speaks so much.”

She also credited the group she calls her tribe.

“There’s no way that any of this would be possible without my team, that I brought with me. I did Faithful Fitness for seven years by myself and then I brought on Beth (Wade), Ashley (Sluder) and Renee (Schopmeyer) and it is so much more powerful having them with me. I honestly have no idea how I did it for seven years without them,” Crabb said. “I want to thank you three for keeping me in line and making sure I’m where I’m supposed to be. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have made it here on time.”

Crabb added that all of this love and support boils down to the type of community we live in.

“Things like this -- meetings like tonight with this group of people -- are great. This doesn’t happen everywhere, and this is why I’m proud to be a Greene County native. This is why I never did leave. They couldn’t get rid of me. I was gone for three and a half years -- they got me in Terre Haute -- and I brought one back with me,” Crabb said, pointing to her husband.

“This is why I’m proud to be from Greene County. We come together, we support one another.”

Crabb’s family is so proud of her, noting she helps everyone she impacts every person she meets.

Wade, Shopmeyer, and Sluder said as her friends, they are so excited to see her recognized for all of her hard work.

Wade, who nominated Crabb, said she takes time out of her busy life to ensure others have the proper resources as well.

“She does so much. She has changed my life in so many ways. There are people in the community who may not know about the resources she has for people between Faithful Fitness, her book and the autism resources she has. There will be people she doesn’t know text or call and say they know her as the autism mom and she’ll meet them for coffee,” Wade said.

“She deserves to see the light that everybody else sees.”

Crabb’s husband, Joey, said he has always known she is an incredible person.

“I’m proud of her. She’s an amazing woman and I’m glad other people can finally see what I see,” Joey said.

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