AARP Idaho is pleased to announce that Janie Nirk of Potlatch, Idaho is the recipient of the 2017 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.
Carolyn Strong of Potlach was one of several people to nominate Nirk for the award. “She inspires all who know her. She has a strong belief that everyone has an opportunity to enhance the lives of others,” said Strong. “She believes each person can be all they can be if they have the courage to reach for the challenges and meet them with full force.”
Janie has been a pillar in the community since 1961 and her volunteerism extends well beyond her involvement with AARP. She serves as treasurer for the Gritman Medical Center Auxiliary and on the Gritman Medical Center Board of Directors. She is actively involved with the Moscow League of Women Voters and is a founding member of the “Sharing Tree” which has been providing gifts and food for children in need during the holidays for the past 33 years.
She is also a staunch and passionate advocate for quality health care. Because of her efforts, the Palouse Dialysis Clinic opened in 2009 giving resident’s critical access to lifesaving treatments without having to drive hundreds of miles per week. Her leadership and vision made this project a reality and life easier for families across the Palouse.
For more than 50 years Janie has volunteered her time and services throughout the community including 33 years teaching high school students in Potlach. “Simply stated, she served. She served the students as an extraordinary teacher, the school as an outstanding educator and the community as a voice of reason,” said Debi Dockins of Viola. “What an example she sets for the rest of us!”
“Volunteers are the heart and soul of all the work we do at AARP and I am thrilled to recognize Janie for her endless contributions to make Idaho a better place to live,” said AARP Idaho state director Lupe Wissel.
Janie will be presented with the Andrus Award during a volunteer appreciation dinner on September 28, 2017 in Moscow, Idaho.