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The Next Chapter - A Monthly Column

Bob Lanky is a bicyclist. He rides with a group of bike enthusiasts every Monday. He says it gets him out of the house.

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“It gives me other things to think about. I fish a little. Whatever,” he says.

But that “whatever” happens to be a full plate of volunteerism for AARP and others for this active 80-year-old from the southwest suburbs of Denver.

In addition to riding and fishing “a little,” Lanky volunteers with the Jefferson County Council on Aging, the Retired Federal Employees Association and serves on the Older Coloradan’s Association. He is involved in Senior Lobby Day and its related activities, as well as the Denver Regional Council of Governments’ commission on aging.

“The big goal is to keep seniors living in their homes instead of going into more expensive nursing homes,” he says. “There has to be a lot of community services and care within the community. There is an increase in the need for nursing care and there is a lot of concern because there is a lot of expense in that.”

Lanky’s dedication to seniors doesn’t end with working to ensure they are able to stay in their homes as long as possible, he also rolls up his sleeves and helps provide community services that keep older adults independent and much of that is done through his work with AARP.

Lanky is a district coordinator for the southwest metro area AARP Tax-Aide, operating six tax sites. He was active in the Green Mountain AARP Chapter for more than 10 years before it shuttered a couple of years ago. He also works on the AARP bill-payer program, which helps older low-income people manage their finances by balancing their checkbooks and keeping the bills paid.

“It’s sure essential for the people we help,” he says.

No doubt. Lanky, a retired engineer, originally from Washington State, has already made a significant impact in the lives of so many and he will likely continue to be a life-changing force for older adults in his community. If you would like to get involved, please go to Create The Good www.createthegood.org and search for volunteer opportunities.

In Chapter News, two new chapters are scheduled to commence this year. They are Castle Rock and Far Northeast Metro Denver.

Welcome to the AARP family. Chapters, in which new officers will be installed this year, include Black Forest #1100, South Suburban #3838, Westminster #1158 and Queen City #995.

And speaking of Black Forest … the busy chapter was instrumental in making the annual Make a Difference Day a hit with a program to help veterans get benefits. Black Forest also presented a $200 check to the Black Forest Cares Food Pantry. Way to go Black Forest.

Angela Cortez is Associate State Director Communications. Reach her at acortez@aarp.org, or 303-764-5988.

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