Thomas Harper of Roy is the 2010 Utah recipient of AARP’s highest honor, the Andrus Award for Community Service. Established in 2002 in honor of AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, this annual award recognizes volunteers and members who make a powerful difference, support AARP's mission, vision, and inspire others to volunteer. In addition to a national recipient an individual is chosen from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands to receive the award.
Harper received his award at an Oct. 12 dinner and awards ceremony at the Fort Douglas Officer’s Club at the University of Utah. He was honored for 900+hours as volunteer supervisor and trainer at the Ogden Regional Medical Center. In addition to his one-day-a-week stint, he’s often called into the Emergency Department when the workload is heavy. He supports the nursing staff and does clerical tasks, but Harper’s specialty is comforting patients and families.
Harper also volunteers for the Red Cross. In 2005 he ran a Red Cross shelter for 400 people following Hurricane Rita in Texas. Weeks later, after Hurricane Wilma, he helped in Key West, gathering and delivering supplies to those in need. In 2008 after Hurricane Gustav and Ike, Harper and another volunteer drove an Emergency Red Cross vehicle from Utah to Baton Rouge non-stop, then spent the next 23 days delivering meals twice daily, to those in need throughout the affected areas.
Harper’s been a foster parent, and in 1975 sponsored a Vietnam refugee. He’s served as a Boy Scout Leader, 2002 Winter Olympics volunteer, and Weber Valley Detention Center volunteer.
Along with Harper, thirteen other Utahns were honored Oct. 12 and given Outstanding Volunteer Awards for their service. They are:
Beverly & Harold Beaudrow of Salina: Intermountain Homecare Hospice; Six County Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Volunteer Center; Fremont State Park.
Leota Gibson of Ogden: Ogden RSVP; American Legion Auxiliary; Emerson Stone Library in Ogden; Weber County Health Department/Well Baby Clinic and Adult Probation and Parole.
Kris Koford of Salt Lake City: Crossroads Urban Center; Community Food Coop of Utah.
Barbara MacPeek of Layton: Fishes N Loaves; Davis County Jail, Clown, Mental Health-Victim Witness Program.
Norman & Willetta Nelson of Perry: Veterans of Foreign War & Auxiliary; Golden Spike Association; Boy Scouts of America; Sons of Utah Pioneers; Brigham City Train Depot.
Linda Perkins of Park City: Recycle Utah; High School student mentor; Intermountain Free Style Kids Ski Program.
Art Sleeper of Draper: Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program & Rug Show; AYSO Soccer Organization; Nationwide Tour Utah Golf Tournament.
Tami Stanley of Orem: National Amputee Coalition of America; Lead Advocate in Utah for ACA Amputee Action Network; Member, U.S. Disabled Bobsled Team.
Dorothy Talbert of Salt Lake City: Consumer Protection advocate for Coalition of Religious Communities; Advocate for people with disabilities.
Jean Thompson of Salt Lake City: St Marks Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Institute and Salt Lake Regional Medical Center; Salt Lake County Center for the Arts; Friends for Sight.
Jamee Wheelwright of Spring City: Organizer/Co-Founder of Wag-N-Train Dog Rescue – to date more than 1,000 animals have been rescued.