AARP Montana announced recently that Tom Altmaier of Helena has been selected to receive the 2012 Andrus Award for Community Service, the Association's most prestigious volunteer award. This award is a symbol of the power of individuals to make a difference in the lives of others. As a former educator, Tom was nominated by colleague Hazel L. Johnson, also a former educator from Helena.
The award will be formally presented to Tom Altmaier at a ceremony in November in Helena. In congratulating Tom Altmaier, Montana State President Joy Bruck said "Tom Altmaier has always recognized the important role educators play in volunteering in the community, and always willing to remind everyone that AARP was founded by an educator, Ethel Percy Andrus. Tom Altmaier serves as a fitting tribute to the legacy of Ethel Percy Andrus' motto – 'to serve and not to be served'."
Tom Altmaier has been active in a number of community organizations for many years. He works tirelessly to improve those organizations while serving in key leadership roles. He has served as an officer, chairperson and a hard working member of the Montana Retired Educators, AARP, National Retired Teachers Association, Lewis & Clark Retired Educators, Capital City Task Force, and Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.
Tom has served as an advocate for aging issues, including speaking at legislative hearings and interim committees. He has helped several organizations develop and accomplish their goals. As a lifelong educator, Tom is always looking for ways to help people enhance their opportunities for learning including organizing field trips, educational speakers and monthly programs. Tom successfully secured the donation of a computer and software then initiated computerization of all AARP Helena Chapter records. He also developed a handbook for Chapter leaders outlining responsibilities. Tom originated the Helena AARP Chapter's Walking Program and continues to track miles and encourage members to walk more for improving their health.
"Tom's enthusiasm to keep active, both physically and mentally has helped many others to age with dignity and purpose," said Hazel Johnson in her nominating application. "His efforts in so many areas have lead to positive social change."
"The AARP Andrus award recognizes inspiring individuals who are making a positive difference in the lives of others, improving their community and encouraging others to volunteer," said Bob Bartholomew, AARP Montana State Director. "Tom Altmaier has been a dynamic volunteer and is truly a role model for community service whether it is in his home town, regionally or at the state level."