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Las Cruces’ Frances Shutt Named AARP New Mexico’s Volunteer of the Year

AARP New Mexico is proud to announce that the 2011 State Andrus Award for Community Service has been awarded to Frances Shutt of Las Cruces. The award is named for AARP’s founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus and is given to a volunteer who most exemplifies her example and motto of “to serve, not to be served.”

At 98, Shutt, last year alone volunteered 1300 hours through a variety of ways. She took her love of teaching and turned it into a life-long endeavor. Not only teaching in the traditional classroom, she has volunteered for 37 years as the Director of the International Department as the First Baptist Church of Las Cruces teaching English as a Second Language to NMSU students and their spouses from foreign countries.

In addition, she has assisted the Las Cruces Association of Educational Retirees for the last 37 years, serving in various positions over the years including president, and still helps maintain the group’s calling committee.

“Frances exemplifies what AARP means in its mission of allowing a person to age with dignity and purpose,” said Gene Varela, AARP New Mexico Associate State Director for Community Outreach. “For someone that has her life experience to still be sharing her skills and positive outlook with others, to help them lead a better, more productive life is exactly what Dr. Andrus had in mind when creating ARRP.”

Shutt earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in education. She married John Paul Shutt, an ordained minister and travel with him to several different countries conducting ministry work. They were married for 52 years until he passed away.

Shutt has outlived her husband and her children but is still grateful for the time she had with them.

She will be honored for earning the Andrus Award at the Annual New Mexico Conference on Aging set for August 23 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at Isleta Pueblo as well as a local ceremony in Las Cruces.

Shutt was one of 11 nominees for the Andrus Award this year. Other nominees included:

  • Les Anderson of Albuquerque was nominated for his work with the AARP Tax Aide Program coordinating tax sites and volunteers, helping with the transition from paper files to electronic filing. Anderson has also done volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Harold Daum of Albuquerque was nominated for his work as a volunteer with the Lawyer Referral for the Elderly Program where he has served for the last 23 years keeping track of the status of cases referred to the agency and ensuring that clients receive the highest in customer service.
  • Salome DeAguero of Santa Fe was nominated for her work in senior affairs particularly as a member of the planning committee for the New Mexico Conference on Aging. DeAguero passed away in April.
  • Lorenzo Jojola of Isleta Pueblo was nominated for his advocacy efforts particularly in the building an assisted living facility for Isleta elders. Despite the project being on the backburner for some time, Jojola has been the driving force behind keeping the project on the planning agenda.
  • Max Liebers of Rio Rancho was nominated for his work at the Meadowlark Senior Center where he has volunteered for the last 25 years, pitching in with whatever needed to get done, as well serving as an AARP Rio Rancho Chapter Officer.
  • James and Twila Moots of Gallup were nominated for their work with the AARP Driver Safety Program as instructors helping refresh the rules of the road for people age 50 plus and helping them be better drivers as well as helping others get to doctor’s appointments and other activities.
  • Dennis Prickett of Las Cruces was nominated for his work in helping, through a national organization, to provide a basic wheel chair for disabled individuals in foreign countries. Prickett works with the local chapter to load these chairs into containers which are then shipped to Mexico and Central America.
  • Wayne Rose was nominated for his work at the AARP Drivers Safety State Coordinator. Rose oversees 103 DSP volunteers. He also helped expand the program so that additional course instructors and classes have helped 7,800 New Mexico Drivers be safer on the road.
  • Stuart and Rosalie Simon of Albuquerque were nominated for their work with the local Food Pantry, a hunger relief program through Jewish Family Services. They help unload food and distribute it to homebound seniors in the Albuquerque area.
  • L. Richard Tatro of Los Alamos was nominated for his work in the Los Alamos Retirement Services Organization serving as the senior activity oversight and planning gas chairman as well as helping out in the community with such activities as building wheelchair ramps and making bathrooms more accessible. He also helped maintain sewing machines for the local quilting clubs as well as shrubbery at the local senior center.

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