Skip to content


Take control of your brain health as you age. Visit Staying Sharp — it's free for AARP members.



AARP Arkansas Honors Key Volunteer Leaders

AARP Arkansas honored key volunteer leaders with awards at the 2011 Andrus Award and Volunteer Recognition Luncheon, held Sept. 8 in Little Rock.

See Also: Award Named for AARP Founder

Approximately 140 volunteers and partners gathered at the Heifer Village to recognize the 2011 Andrus Award recipient, and 12 nominees. Participating in the celebration were David Nelson, AARP National Board Member, James Clemmons, South Central Regional Volunteer Director, and Nancy Stockbridge, Regional Vice President. Guests received a special welcome from Pierre Ferrari, CEO of Heifer International .The mood was festive as participants enjoyed a slide show of the year’s activities and listened to the music of Bob Boyd Sounds.

Joe Petruk of Hot Springs received the 2011 Andrus State Award for Community Service. Joe has served as Arkansas State Coordinator for the AARP Driver Safety Program since 2005. Through Petruk’s efforts, the program has achieved 200 active DSP volunteers who have conducted approximately 660 DSP courses, and exceeded the goal of 13,000 participants two years in a row.

“Joe is a tireless supporter of AARP and his leadership of the Driver Safety Program has been absolutely exceptional,” said Maria Reynolds-Diaz, State Director of AARP Arkansas. “Joe has distinguished himself as a leader and a doer. He is a tremendous asset to AARP and to all those we serve.”

The Andrus Award is AARP’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award for community service. The award recognizes outstanding individuals who made their communities better in ways that are consistent with AARP's mission, vision and commitment to volunteer service, and who inspire others to volunteer.

AARP's commitment to volunteer service can be traced back to the life and vision of founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. From the beginning, her motto, "To serve, not to be served," has shaped AARP's community service efforts at the national, state and local levels. The Andrus Award winner is nominated by his or her peers and the award recipient is chosen by a special selection committee consisting of AARP Arkansas volunteer leaders.

Billie Dougherty of Ward received the 2011 Distinguished Service Award. Billie has been an AARP volunteer leader in Arkansas since 1995 and served as Coordinator of the Capitol City Task Force from 2000 to 2004. Her current AARP leadership roles include serving as Vice President of the Cabot chapter and as Co-Advocacy Lead in Hub 6 (North Central Arkansas).

“Billie Dougherty is one of our most long-serving, dedicated and active volunteer leaders,” Reynolds-Diaz said. “Billie is a constant presence at the state Capitol during legislative sessions and always goes the extra mile.”

During the event, all nominees for the 2011 Andrus Award were acknowledged.

Nominees Included:

  • Ken Brown of Clinton
  • Vivian Budimir of Royal
  • Amanda Charles of Pine Bluff
  • Beverly Gammel of Crossett
  • Court Mathey of Horseshoe Bend
  • Emma Jean Petty of Helena-West Helena
  • Hazel Pierce of Fort Smith
  • Mary Roberts of North Little Rock
  • Russell and Betty Stokes of Cherokee Village
  • Willa Wells of Fairfield Bay

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.