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Share Your Story for a Chance to Win

Over 50 years ago, AARP founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus found a retired teacher living in a chicken coop. The retired teacher was living in a chicken coop because she only had a meager teacher’s pension – and her devastating story launched Dr. Andrus on a mission that resulted in the founding of the National Retired Teachers Association and, eventually, AARP.

The “chicken coop” is a defining piece of the AARP story – now, AARP Illinois wants to know more about your story.

AARP invites all members who live in Illinois to take part in the AARP Illinois “What’s Your Story?” Contest. You could win up to $500 just for telling us your story.

Interested contestants must submit an essay responding to the following question:

“What event from your past has most influenced your life in the present?”

Entry Guidelines:

  • Entries must be received by May 31, 2011.
  • Entries must be typed
  • Entries must be 500 words or less

Entries can be sent via email to Please include “What’s Your Story Contest” in the subject line if submitting via email. Entries may also be submitted via U.S. mail (postmarked by May 31, 2011) at the following address:

AARP Illinois
ATTN: Heather Heppner
222 N. LaSalle, Suite #710
Chicago, IL 60601


  • Must be an AARP member
  • Must reside in Illinois (as of May 31, 2011)

Each entry in the AARP Illinois “What’s Your Story?” contest will be judged by a panel of 5 volunteers. The entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Creativity: What makes the entry unique?
  • Content: Does the entry answer the question posed?
  • Clarity: Does the entry follow general grammatical rules?

There will be three winners selected. First prize will receive a $500 Visa gift card, second prize will receive a $300 Visa gift card, and third prize will receive a $100 Visa gift card. Winners will be named no later than July 31, 2011.

Don’t wait. The contest ends on May 31, 2011, so submit your entry today.

*AARP staff and Executive Council members, as well as their immediate family members, are not eligible to participate in this contest.

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