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Volunteers Recognized at Annual Luncheon

The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia was the site of the annual volunteer recognition luncheon on Nov. 10. This year’s theme was “Volunteers are like umbrellas – just push a button and they spring into action!”

More than 60 volunteers who attended the luncheon received a push button red umbrella as a token of appreciation. Volunteers who did not attend will receive an umbrella either via mail or delivered by staff at upcoming scheduled meetings.

The luncheon kicked off with a welcome from State Director Craig Eichelman against the backdrop of a slide presentation highlighting volunteer activities over the past year.

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan was the guest speaker and shared stories about how her father, the late Gov. Mel Carnahan, set numerous examples on leaving the world a better place. “AARP volunteers are also leaving the state a better place,” Carnahan said.

“The difference AARP has made in the lives of older adults is tremendous,” Carnahan said. “You speak for them and give voice to them.” Carnahan added that AARP Missouri and the Office of the Secretary of State can work together on issues such as combating investment fraud and voter ID legislation. “It’s important for our state’s citizens to have the right to vote without impediments,” Carnahan said.

At the end of her presentation, Carnahan admitted that she had received “The Card” over the summer: she is now a full-fledged AARP member, having reached the magical age of 50.

Sidney McCarther of Kansas City, winner of Missouri’s 2011 AARP State Andrus Award for Community Service, was again recognized at the luncheon. The honor is the Association’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award for community service for individuals who are significantly enhancing the lives of people 50 and older.

The Andrus Award for Community Service is named after AARP’s founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus.

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