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AARP Maine Announces Andrus Award Winner

AARP Maine has announced that retired educator, Leslie L. LaFond, is the winner of the 2011 Andrus Award named in honor of AARP’s founder.

See Also: The biography of Dr. Ethel Percy, AARP Founder

The Andrus Award celebrates and honors individuals who make a difference in the lives of others, and is the most prestigious and visible award AARP can present to an individual.

LaFond’s public service activities span more than 40 years, truly embodying Dr. Andrus’ motto "To Serve, Not To be Served."

During his tenure as AARP Maine State President from 2004-2008, Les actively supported AARP’s mission and vision by working tirelessly at both the state and federal levels. He travelled throughout the state, testified at Congressional hearings and hosted rallies. LaFond’s dedication was recognized by AARP’s national office in Washington D.C. and he was invited to serve on many key committees due to his extraordinary leadership.

LaFond is a dynamic and dedicated community activist who, in his capacity as an AARP member and volunteer, has been instrumental in steering public policy. LaFond has been a leader in his efforts to build strong relationships with state and federal legislators. He even travelled to Washington DC as a lead volunteer with AARP to lobby legislators on Capitol Hill. An AARP member since 1988, LaFond has been a Volunteer Ambassador and a volunteer on the AARP Maine Capitol City Task Force.

LaFond’s career in higher education has been equally impressive. He graduated from both Boston University and The University of Maine, Orono, with two Masters in Education and went on to become Vice President for Student Affairs at Bryant College in Rhode Island and Dean of the College at Vermont Technical College from 1993-2000.

During the past eleven years of his retirement LaFond has also served in numerous other volunteer activities.

These include:

  • Director of the Board of the Southern Maine Agency on Aging
  • Chair of the Wells/Ogunquit School Committee
  • Chair of the Board of Trustees at Andover College (now Kaplan University)
  • A member of the Ogunquit Rotary Club

LaFond was most recently the recipient of the prestigious Richard A Costello Special Achievement Award given by the University of Southern Maine for his contributions to education, community and athletics.

Carol Kontos, current AARP Maine State President, stated “The AARP Maine Andrus Award acts as a symbol to our members and to the public that we can all work together for positive social change. AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions AARP volunteers make to their communities, neighbors and the programs they serve. We are deeply proud to be presenting this year’s award to Leslie LaFond whose record of achievement, service and commitment provides an extraordinary example of one person making a significant difference in the lives of others.”

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