“Understanding”, “kind”, “always willing to lend a hand”: words used time and again to describe one Amherst man making a difference. Dr. Daniel Clapp is the 2011 recipient of the AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, the association’s most prestigious volunteer honor.
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Even after his retirement, Dr. Clapp, 75, has never stopped working, and has dedicated his life to caring for seniors, the disabled, and the less fortunate. Dr. Clapp volunteers his time and medical expertise to run free clinics in Amherst, Leverett and Northampton – and even on the sidelines at UMass football games, where he serves as an on-site volunteer physician. There is not a corner of his community untouched by his dedication, compassion, and generosity.
Enhancing the lives of many
“AARP has long celebrated and recognized the achievements and important contributions of dedicated volunteers across the country,” said AARP Massachusetts State President Linda Fitzgerald. “It’s through the efforts of Dr. Clapp and all volunteers here in the Bay State that we’ve been able to enhance the lives of our members and their families and address community concerns in Massachusetts.”
“Dr. Clapp has a genuine concern for the well being of others and donates his time and finances with a heart of joy and integrity. He is truly one of the pillars in our church as well as in the community,” said Pastor Douglas MacLeod of the North Leverett Baptist Church, where Dr. Clapp is both a member of the congregation, and runs a health care clinic twice a month.
An active volunteer
Dr. Clapp is also the chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Amherst Council on Aging and serves as a “Meals on Wheels” volunteer; volunteer physician at the Ear Cerumen Removal Clinic; volunteer Medical Director of the Amherst Survival Center; and, as a physician at the center’s free clinic.
In her nomination letter, Cheryl Zoll, director of the Amherst Survival Center noted that the success of the center’s Free Clinic was largely due to Dr. Clapp, and his “conviction that everyone deserves excellent health care and to his unstoppable energy devoted to making that happen.”
Dr. Clapp also volunteers as a physician for the College Church Health Care Project in Northampton. He is a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, serving as the delegate and treasurer for the Hampshire District.
As an Amherst Town Meeting member, Dr. Clapp represents his precinct and advocates for seniors on issues of safety, housing, and economic benefits.
“Always willing to lend a helping hand, Dan is the epitome of an active, committed, dedicated, caring member of our senior community,” noted Nancy Pagano, director, Amherst Senior Center. “Not only does he serve on the COA, Friends of the Amherst Senior Center, and Senior Health Advisory Group, he also helps individual seniors by delivering means to shut-ins and checking on their well being, by driving elders to doctor appointments, and by providing ear irrigations at no cost.”
About the AARP Andrus Award
The AARP Andrus Award for Community Service is given annually to one AARP member in every state. In Massachusetts, the selection committee for this year’s award included Linda Fitzgerald, state president, AARP Massachusetts; Mary Kay Browne, senior project and program director, Executive Office of Elder Affairs; Kurt Czarnowski, principal, Czarnowski Consulting, and former regional communications director, Social Security Administration; Chet Jakubiak, executive director, Massachusetts Association of Older Americans; Carol Greenfield, founder and past-president of Discovering What’s Next; and Louise Myers, Executive Council member, AARP Massachusetts.
The committee evaluated nominees based on a range of criteria, including how their volunteer work positively impacts the lives of individuals 50 and over, how their work improves the community, and how they inspire others to volunteer. To be eligible for the award, nominees must be AARP members, must have accomplished the volunteer service for which they are nominated during the period of Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2010, and must have completed the service without pay.
Create the Good
Looking for a way to make a difference in your community? AARP’s Create the Good can connect you to projects in your neighborhood, or help you start a project of your own.