AARP Kansas recognizes and values the contributions made by our team of volunteers throughout our state to help improve the quality of life for Kansans age 50 and older. Whether they volunteer in the areas of advocacy, community service and/or serve on our Executive or Diversity Councils, the Volunteer Support Team or the Capital City Task Force, they provide invaluable service in their communities and in the state.
Each year, AARP Kansas gives special recognition to three outstanding volunteers or volunteer couple during a mid-year celebration. In 2018, AARP Volunteer State President Glenda DuBoise and State Director Dr. Maren Turner presented awards to Richard and Maxine Goucher, Edie Loughmiller, and Dianna Koerner.
Volunteers Richard and Maxine Goucher, of Pleasonton, received the Sonny Freeman award for excellence in advocacy. The award is named after the late Sonny Freeman, an AARP Kansas advocacy volunteer who worked tirelessly on issues important to older Kansans. Richard and Maxine (who also serves on the AARP Kansas Executive Council) are regulars at the Kansas Statehouse where they attend committee hearings, talk with legislators and advocate for issues critical to older Kansans.
AARP’s Merle Bolton Award for Leadership was presented to Edie Loughmiller, of Wichita, the volunteer state coordinator of the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program in Kansas. The Merle Bolton Award was established in 2004 in honor of Dr. Merle R. Bolton who served in a variety of leadership positions for AARP Kansas, including AARP Kansas Volunteer State President. Under Edie’s leadership of the Tax-Aide program in Kansas, it has nearly doubled in size. Edie has earned respect from Tax-Aide volunteers across the state for her dedication and oversight of the program which prepares thousands of tax returns each year free of charge for older Kansans and those with low-incomes.
The final award, the Ann Garvin Award for Excellence in Community Service, was presented to Dianna Koerner of Hays. The award is named after Ann Garvin who currently serves as the state volunteer trainer and the leader of the AARP Kansas Volunteer Support Team. Ann is a tireless volunteer who has dedicated her life to the service of others. She has also served on the Executive Council and as Interim Volunteer State President. The award recipient, Dianna Koerner, is the vice-president of the Hays AARP chapter. She is actively involved in the chapter and has organized several unique activities to serve chapter members and the community. She serves as president of the Nurses Club in Hays and as a board member for the Northwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging.
AARP Kansas congratulates these award recipients and thanks them and all AARP Kansas volunteers for the work they do to make Kansas a better place for all residents.