AARP Oklahoma honored 11 nominees for the 2011 Andrus Award for Community Service at a luncheon held Nov. 9.
Gladys Jordan Lytle of Tulsa – who started a mentoring program with Greeley Elementary in Tulsa, was named the recipient of the 2011 Andrus Award for Oklahoma. This is the highest award given by AARP.
See Also: Award Named for AARP Founder
Jordan Lytle is chair of the Education Committee for the Northwest Tulsa AARP Chapter. She developed a volunteer program called AARP Buddies for Greeley Elementary, an at risk school, in which chapter members mentor students. In addition, she coordinated volunteers and parents to start a vegetable garden at the school as well as a clothes closet and food pantry. She is described as an enthusiastic team player, resourceful and helpful.
Here is the complete list of Oklahoma Andrus Nominees for 2011:
Barney & Modina Allen, Ardmore
The Allens are tireless community volunteers who have been involved in the Oklahoma Alliance on Mental Illness (Barney having served as board president), the annual Head Start Fishing Days for Children, the Domestic Violence Task Force and Systems of Care Review Committee. They also visit senior nutrition sites in Ardmore and arrange transportation for those in need. The Allens have served as officers for the Ardmore AARP Chapter and have coordinated chapter projects for the local nursing home. Barney, with assistance from Modina, serves as a member of the AARP Oklahoma Executive Council and is currently the lead volunteer on Social Security.
Betty Cooper, Shawnee
Cooper is an outstanding community volunteer with wonderful vision and a giving spirit. She volunteers for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Election Board, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and the RSVP Shoes that Fit project. As a member of the OHCE club she made lap throws for the senior adult facility and military personnel serving overseas. She is a member of Woodman of the World Insurance Society and received the Humanitarian Award in 2007 and the Oklahoma Achievement on Aging Outstanding Volunteer.
Lucille Ford, McAlester
Ford is chairman of the Travelers Group and the Women's Circle at First United Methodist Church. She assists with bulletin production, transporting individuals who do not drive to church events, and chairing various committees. Ford has been a member of the Pittsburg County AARP Chapter for 19 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors, Health Committee, and Monthly Calling Committee. She was actively involved in the chapter's back to school project where she served as a liaison with an elementary school and coordinated school supplies. She can always be counted on to do whatever is needed.
Robert (Bob) Johnson, Tulsa
Johnson is president of the Sand Springs AARP Chapter. He is a school mentor and assists his neighbors with their yard work and cleaning driveways during snow storms. He volunteers his time doing lawn work at his church and also volunteers at Sand Springs Senior Center and Meals on Wheels. Johnson has inspired others to volunteer and is always willing to help if someone has a need.
Joyce Drew Parsons, Oklahoma City
Drew Parsons is past president of the Oklahoma County Retired Teachers Association. She partnered with the Northeast Oklahoma City AARP Chapter to coordinate the Equipped to Learn School Supply Drive in 2010 and spearheaded fundraising efforts for the project. She is a past member of the AARP Oklahoma Executive Council and is a legislative advocate for older adults and retired teachers. She is known as diligent, hard working and industrious in all her activities.
Tillman Ryser, Tulsa
Ryser serves as state coordinator for the AARP Drive Safety Program in Oklahoma and is responsible for 120 volunteers and six volunteer leadership positions. He has worked on expanding the Driver Safety Program in the Oklahoma Indian community as well as in the African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino and deaf community. Ryser was a driving force on the DSP that planned, developed and implemented the National DSP Volunteer Recognition and Awards Program.
Rita Sells, Blackwell
Sells is a member of the Blackwell Chamber of Commerce Tourism Development Board, secretary for the Kaw Lake Association and Vice President of RSVP of Kay County. She has worked on the museum board and is a member of the American Business Women’s Association. She was named Blackwell Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year in 1998, American Business Women’s Association Woman of the Year in 2004 and Kaw Lake Volunteer of the Year in 2011.
Monte Stewart, Amorita
Stewart is volunteer director for Kids Against Hunger Northwest Oklahoma which has packed over 1.5 million meals since December 2007 and shipped meals to six countries. He drives the mobile food unit, is a member of the church board and cemetery board and a foster parent. He is an inspiration to others and an example that volunteerism has no age limit.
Oleta Tolen, Moore
Tolen has been a member of the AARP Moore Chapter for over 20 years where she has maintained membership and calling lists. She served as chair of the Moore Centennial Project and as president of the 1921-1958 Moore Alumni Association. She is a board member of Langley Village Housing, a volunteer ambassador for the Moore Chamber of Commerce, a volunteer at Brand Senior Center and is on the advisory council for Cleveland County RSVP. She is also active in her church.
DeLois Webb, Oklahoma City
Webb encourages and inspires others to be involved in their community. Among her volunteer activities is the city-wide Senior Prom, senior center, Sunbeam Family Services, Triad, Grace Living Center and the Metropolitan Library. She is the committee chair for senior birthdays at her church and visits those who are sick and shut in. Webb is a member of the Northeast Oklahoma City AARP Chapter.