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2014 AARP Andrus Award Recipient

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Janet Kinzer (right) with her mom Nel Matlock

AARP Idaho has announced that Janet Kinzer of Athol was selected to receive the 2014 Andrus Award for Community Service, the Association’s most prestigious volunteer award. Each year AARP honors the legacy of AARP founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, with the AARP Andrus Award for Community Service. This award is a symbol of the power of individuals to make a difference in the lives of others. AARP Idaho state director Mark Estess formally presented the honor to Kinzer at a ceremony  in Coeur d’Alene.

AARP Idaho volunteer state president Tom Trail nominated her for the award. “Janet Kinzer has always recognized the important role volunteers play in making things better for society. It is a pleasure to present this honor to Janet, a woman who has given of herself to make an important difference in the lives of others. Her spirit of service has left an indelible mark across Idaho,” he said.

Janet’s volunteerism extends well beyond her involvement with AARP. In May, she helped coordinate the Coeur d'Alene Veterans Stand Down. Over 1,500 veterans and their families attended the all-day event. She has helped organize and coordinate four Veteran Stand Down events attended by more than 6,000 veterans and family members.

Janet's activities reflect her ability to provide positive support to improve the lives of seniors in her community. One of her major commitments was with the Medical Reserve Corps and Public Health Office in North Idaho. As a nurse, she worked with both organizations to train seniors to prepare for public health emergencies spanning 15 communities over the past six years. She conducted surveys in the various communities in terms of infrastructure, personnel, and materials available, which would be needed for various types of disasters. One of her colleagues best described Janet as an individual who reflects "service above self” which is much in keeping with Dr. Andrus who said, "to serve and not be served."

“I have heard countless reports of the ripples of care, concern and generosity that she has shared with her communities. There are myriad things that Janet could have done with her time, but she chose to make her community a better place, one person at a time. She chose to share information, education and inspiration with people in her neighborhoods and communities. She chose to make a real difference in the lives of others by giving of herself,” said Trail.

In addition, Janet has trained more than 100 participants in the AARP Driver Safety Program. She has also been active in AARP SNAP Program for the past five years. She has given presentations and distributed materials at Chambers of Commerce, senior centers, and to a number of other organizations.

Janet has also used her training as a nurse in a number of capacities as a community volunteer.   She has coordinated and assisted with community blood drives for over 10 years totaling more than 100 blood drives. Janet also enjoys her role as a Pink Lady at the St. Joseph Hospital.

"Janet Kinzer is a proven advocate and leader with an impressive record of achievement that has impacted not just older Idahoans, but residents of all ages," said Mark Estess, AARP Idaho state director. "I am thrilled that Janet was selected to receive this prestigious award. She serves as a fitting tribute to the legacy of Ethel Percy Andrus’ motto, ‘to serve and not to be served’.”

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