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St. Petersburg Resident Receives AARP Florida’s Highest Honor

St. Petersburg resident Lois Herron has been selected by AARP to receive Florida’s 2010 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, the Association’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award.

“Lois Herron is a perfect example of what AARP represents,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida’s interim state director. “When we commit ourselves to service as Ms. Herron has done, we can work together for positive social change in our communities.”

The AARP Andrus Award recognizes members and volunteers who, through volunteer service, significantly enhance the lives of individuals age 50 and over.

Herron, 76, was born in Moosic, Pa. and graduated from Lackawanna Business College in 1953. She moved to St. Petersburg in 1967. She has three children and seven grandchildren.

For 21 years, she was vice president of marketing at United Way of Pinellas County. She then became an AARP volunteer and was Florida state president from 1997 to 2002. She was a driver safety instructor, served on the Governor’s Census Committee and is currently an advocacy trainer.

The Andrus Award is named for AARP founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, who said that the highest purpose of life for those 50-plus is “to serve, not to be served.”

There were 15 other nominees:

  • Patsy Avery from Bell is vice president of the Gilchrist County AARP Chapter and volunteers for the local Senior Food Distribution effort.
  • Toni Beiser of DeBary is treasurer of the DeBary-Florida AARP Chapter and has helped organize the DeBary and Orange City parades.
  • Paul Billig of Ormond Beach has served as President and Legislative Committee Chair of the Ormond-by-the-Sea Chapter.
  • Corrine Bulla of St. Petersburg, a former NYC police volunteer, now helps at senior community events and at local nursing homes.
  • Priscilla Davis of Jacksonville is an AARP advocacy volunteer and trainer and helps spread AARP’s legislative messages.
  • Randy Durden from Bell is president of the Gilchrist AARP Chapter and now has one of the five largest chapters in Florida.
  • Jerry Fluellen of Jacksonville helped found The Obama Family Network, which holds regular meetings and does food drives.
  • Georgena Ford from Miami is a Jackson Memorial Hospital Public Health Trust board member and prepares meals for the needy.
  • Judy Gantenbein from Steinhatchee is chair for her AARP chapter’s Sunshine Committee and visits the ill and homebound.
  • Beverly Gerry of Venice volunteers for Associated Medicare Patients, providing counseling on finances, Medicare and Social Security.
  • Bryon Thames of Orlando has served on the AARP national board for eight years and is a member of the FSU Medical Community Board.
  • Judy Thames of Orlando served as AARP Florida state president and led the Divided We Fail/Health Action Now campaign.
  • Adelia Vachon from Williston is president of the Williston AARP Chapter, which was named 2009 Florida Chapter of the Year.
  • Ester White of Pensacola is president of the Pensacola AARP Chapter whose members visit nursing homes and donate tofood banks.
  • Joy Wilson from Port Charlotte is a board member of the Port Charlotte AARP Chapter. She plans events and provides helpful resources.

St. Petersburg Resident Wins AARP's Most Prestigious Award

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