Kansas — Kathy O’Mara
After retirement, Kathy O’Mara became a member of the Emporia Area Retired School Personnel (EARSP). Recently, she served as vice president and then president of EARSP. A special project that she has enjoyed for two years is assisting the planning and implementation of the annual Lyon County Senior Spelling Bee as well as the Kansas bee held in Salina. Her most challenging task was to help come up with words and sentences to be used in the competitions.
Kentucky — Charlotte Whittaker
Charlotte Whittaker is an active member of the AARP Kentucky State Executive Council and past president of the AARP Ohio County Chapter and is always ready to take up a challenge. Today, she continues visiting Kentucky’s senior centers and community groups facilitating conversations on the future of Medicare and Social Security. She wants the voices of everyday people to be heard. Her nomination form sums up her service to others: “Accomplishments of this magnitude only come from hard work and dedication.”
Louisiana — Pauline Dillie
For over two decades, Pauline Dillie traversed the bayou landscape after raging storms and disasters to help people in need. She’s a familiar face behind the wheel of the red and white American Red Cross emergency response vehicle delivering meals to folks who are stranded by flood waters. After Hurricane Isaac, she opened the Raceland shelter and managed everything from bedding and food to volunteers. She serves in various community organizations, including the Terrebonne food bank, Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana, St. Bernadette Soubirous Catholic Church and AARP chapters in Terrebonne Parish and Morgan City.
Maine — Carol Mower
Carol Mower says her desire to help others in the community began as a child in Waterville delivering library books to older neighbors. Carol volunteers with several organizations, including the Penobscot Chapter, AARP Maine as a fraud fighter and community ambassador, and statewide has delivered 155 speeches on a variety of topics. Her record of service provides an extraordinary example of the difference volunteering can make in the lives of others and the well-being of the community.
Maryland — Gene Gary-Williams
Active with AARP since 2004, and one-time member of the AARP National Policy Council, Gene Gary-Williams is a courageous and inspiring leader serving her third term on the Maryland Executive Council. She convenes community discussions on AARP’s “You’ve Earned a Say” campaign and starred in AARP “Protect Seniors” television ad. She is an exemplary advocate and a frequent, articulate, knowledgeable speaker who speaks on behalf of AARP before Congress, the Maryland General Assembly, and chapters and audiences throughout Maryland.