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AARP Arkansas 2010 Andrus Award for Community Service

AARP Arkansas bestowed its highest volunteer recognition award on executive council member Jerry Lancaster this week during a luncheon attended by 170 AARP members and volunteers at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock.

Lancaster, a mega-star of a volunteer, has been donating his time, energy, skills and wit since his retirement in 1994 from IC Corp, formerly Ward Bus and Am Tran Corporation.

He has been an AARP Arkansas Executive Council member since 2007, a federal lead advocacy volunteer on Health Care Education, as well as Divided We Fail, Save Social Security and Medicare Part D. Lancaster also was AARP Arkansas Acting State President in 2008 and has served as the State Area Volunteer and Community Developer.

Outside of AARP, Lancaster served as past president of the Faulkner County Council on Aging and the Faulkner County Senior Center, both of which he remains a member. He is a member of the Advisory Council for CareLink Area Agency on Aging and a former member of the Board of the Arkansas Hospice in Conway. He was inducted into the Arkansas Senior Hall of Fame in 2009 and in 2005 received the President’s Call to Service Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.

“Jerry is a tireless supporter of AARP and a wonderful human being,” said Maria Reynolds-Diaz. “We are very proud of him and grateful to him for all he’s done for older adults in Arkansas.”

Lancaster jokingly remarked that he is the only non-paid staff member of AARP Arkansas, and encouraged those attending the celebration to join the ranks of volunteerism.

“There is nothing more rewarding than volunteerism,” Lancaster said. “I pour my heart into volunteerism. I just think it’s a wonderful thing to do.”

The event also featured Dr. Joanne Genovich-Richards as its keynote speaker.

Genovich-Richards, a member of the AARP National Policy Council, talked about voter education and pointed to Lancaster as the type of volunteers needed to dispel conflicting information and release reliable facts about issues important to AARP members and all older Americans.

“You volunteer because it’s part of who you are and what you do,” she said. “And because of it, you’re touching people and changing lives. We’re grateful that service is your passion.”

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