Mary Ann Meyer-Schuck – who has spent years helping abused children, troubled adolescents and older neighbors in Fayetteville – is the 2011 winner of the AARP Tennessee Andrus Award for Community Service.
And Junior’s House, a child advocacy center where Meyer-Schuck spends much of her time and energy, is a big winner too – earning a $1,500 check from AARP Tennessee.
This is the first time AARP Tennessee has presented money to the charities chosen by the top three Andrus Award finalists. We think it’s a great way to honor the work of some amazing Tennessee volunteers.
The Andrus Award – named after AARP founder Ethel Percy Andrus – is given to outstanding older Tennesseans who are making a powerful difference in their communities through volunteer work.
Heather Warden, the executive director of Junior’s House who nominated Meyer-Schuck for the award, said she is “kind, hard-working and dedicated to helping her community be a wonderful place to live.” The money will provide free trauma counseling services to children who have been victims of severe physical and sexual abuse.
Meyer-Schuck has been involved with Junior’s House for about six years and recently stepped down as chairman of the board.
“One day, Mary Ann walked in the building and told me she wanted to help with anything except answering phones,” Warden recalled recently. “She started by always getting the lunches for the kids that came to summer camp and now she is at the center almost every day, helping with anything … except phones, of course.”
Meyer-Schuck also volunteers for Juvenile Boot C.A.M.P., supervising adolescents who’ve been in trouble with the law. She helps older neighbors too, volunteering with AARP’s Driver Safety and Tax Aide programs, as well as serving as a VITA tax preparer with the United Way. She is a competitor and volunteer for the St. Louis Senior Olympics. Ms. Meyer-Schuck also is quartermaster for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Posse and a founding member of the Friends of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Organization, where she serves as secretary/treasurer.
“I’m honored and thrilled. Never in a zillion years did I believe I could win such a prestigious award,” Meyer-Schuck told us. “I just try to do a small part to help all of my organizations help those who need it the most.”
Meyer-Schuck isn’t the only outstanding Tennessee volunteer to be recognized. AARP Tennessee also would like to congratulate Andrus Award runners up Bonnie Brown of Franklin and Debbie Pare’ of Mount Juliet. Bonnie asked for her $1,000 check to go to the Literacy Council of Williamson County. Debbie’s $750 prize went to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Senior Citizens Awareness Network (SCAN).
These three women truly live up to AARP’s motto and Dr. Andrus’ belief that we should strive “to serve; not to be served.” We are honored to know them and excited to recognize and assist in the work they are doing to improve their communities and help their neighbors.