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AARP New Mexico Fall Festival Honors Community

AARP New Mexico attracted over 400 members and potential members to its Fall Festival event Oct. 22, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

The event, part of AARP New Mexico’s Multi Cultural Outreach, was designed to showcase AARP and its relevance to members and potential members in a fun, relaxed environment.

“The festival was really just an opportunity for people to come together as a community and enjoy a fall day with some food and some excellent local music,” said Shanna Lapsley, AARP New Mexico Associate State Director for Multi Cultural Outreach. “At the same time, it’s an opportunity for AARP and other community organizations to highlight the services they provide and the work they do here in Albuquerque and throughout the state.”

“What we’ve put together is a combination concert and resource fair that people seemed to find both entertaining and informative. We also made a point to have games and activities for the children so that people would know it was definitely a family event for all generations,” Lapsley said.

AARP New Mexico State Director Stan Cooper said, “The community really responded to this event. The festival was one of the most successful events – at least attendance wise – that the state office has experienced. People really seemed to really enjoy both the resources that were on hand as well as the music. You add in New Mexico’s ideal weather and it was practically a perfect day.”

Luckily the weather did cooperate and the Festival took place under an almost perfect blue sky with unusually warm weather. The event was held outside on the Cultural Center’s main plaza allowing participants to stroll among the different community organizations, sit and listen to music or enjoy a boxed lunch at nearby tables.

“AARP advocates for people age 50 plus at both the federal and state levels of government working on issues such as protecting Social Security, halting the tax on food, and fighting utility rates,” Lapsley said.

“We also have a presence in communities throughout the state through the AARP Tax Aide programs, which help people file their taxes; our Driver Safety program, which helps people over 50 refresh their safe driving skills and possibly get a discount on auto insurance. We also share information on topics such as preventing identity theft, Social Security, Medicare, and the new health care law,” she said.

AARP also serves as a resource of information through its website, publications and Albuquerque Information Center on a large number of topics including job search skills, making decisions about health care, looking for community services, or shaping one’s retirement.

The fall festival was not only a chance for AARP to show people its many facets but other community groups were on hand to share information as well. Those service organizations included: Youth Development Inc., Senior Citizens Law Office, the New Mexico Securities Division, Alzheimer’s Association, People Living Through Cancer, and the Aging and Long-Term Services Department, to name a few.

The highlight of the day included music by Mariachi Tradicional, Los Primos and Sina Soul with Rodney Bowe’s Vida Azucar.
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