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SD Top Volunteer Honored with Andrus Award

AARP South Dakota congratulates the recipient of the 2011 Andrus Award for Outstanding Community Service, Shirley Reilly of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“Shirley Reilly is a shining example of what many of us can only hope to accomplish in the next chapter of our lives,” said Leni Healy, associate state director for outreach and service for AARP South Dakota. “Her endless energy and dedication to making life better for others is truly inspiring.”

Reilly, 77, has been a member of AARP since she was eligible for membership and has been volunteering even longer. She joined the Sioux Falls AARP chapter after she started volunteering at Active Generations more than 15 years ago. For the last 10 years, she’s served as the chapter treasurer ever since. Reilly participates in all the community service projects the chapter undertakes, but doesn’t stop there. She works and volunteers at Active Generations, the Washington Pavilion, R.S.V.P. Reilly also serves on the advisory board for the Osher Life Long Learning Institute OLLI in Sioux Falls.

Reilly says she was surprised, by the recognition. “I’m humbled,” said Reilly. “I didn’t think anything I did was any more than anyone else does. I don’t do it for rewards or recognition, I just do it.”

 Reilly continued, “I don’t have a whole lot of money but I have energy. It’s my way of giving back for all that I’ve been given. I’ve been given a decent life and good health and this is my way of giving back.”

And talk about energy! On top of all her volunteering, Reilly works not one, but two part time jobs, cares for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, takes classes through OLLI and travels extensively.

About the Andrus Award:

The Andrus Award for Outstanding Community Service is given each year to one volunteer in each state, in honor of honor of AARP’s Founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. The AARP Andrus Award for Community Service recognizes outstanding AARP volunteers and members who are making a powerful difference in their communities in ways that support AARP's mission, vision and strategic direction and that inspire others to volunteer.

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