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AARP AARP States Idaho

Mary Zarybnisky of Burley Selected as Recipient of 2023 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service


Mary Zarybnisky has been selected by AARP Idaho to receive the 2023 AARP Idaho Andrus Award for Community Service. Each year AARP honors the legacy of AARP founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus with the Andrus Award for Community Service. It represents the Association’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award for community service.

The AARP Idaho award committee recommended this selection because of her remarkable spirit and civic commitment, which has benefited the Burley community while supporting AARP's vision and mission and inspiring others to volunteer. ln addition to the award, AARP Idaho will make a $2,000 donation to the non-profit organization of Mary’s choice.

The award will be formally presented to Mary at a ceremony from noon to 1pm on Tuesday, November 21 at the Burly Senior Center.

Jack Zarybnisky nominated Mary for the award. “Over the years she has fed, clothed, and
created a purpose for many seniors and the children in this community,” said Zarybnisky. “Mary is willing to take on almost any challenge when it comes to providing essentials to members of the local community.”

Debbie Critchfield, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction also recommended Mary for the award. “Her work for senior citizens, the homeless, school kids and women and children is not just an act of an incredible humanitarian, it is simply inspiring,” said Critchfield. “I am constantly in awe of the energy she has for the work and the unmatched ability to see a need and then fulfill it.”

Mary has a 42-year history of volunteerism in her community. This includes providing 50 or more children with a Christmas present each year, acquiring blankets and coats for seniors in nursing homes, offering free Thanksgiving meals in the mini-Cassia area (last year there were 450 meals), delivering food to schools and the local rehabilitation center for those who need it and providing yarn to a local group who makes hats for premature babies.

“This award acts as a symbol to the public that we can all work together for positive social
change,” says Lupe Wissel, AARP Idaho state director. “AARP has long valued the spirit of
volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their communities,
neighbors, and the programs they serve.”

Recipients across the nation were chosen for their ability to enhance the lives of AARP
members and prospective members, improve the community in or for which the work was performed, and inspire others to volunteer.

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