Jeanne Wease of Crown Point has been selected by AARP to receive the 2014 AARP Indiana Andrus Award for Community Service - the Association’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award. Jeanne was recently presented with the award at AARP Indiana’s annual volunteer summit.
Wease has significantly contributed to Lake County and the larger Northwest Indiana community in both her professional and retirement life. During her 39-year career as an educator, she excelled as a teacher and administrator, receiving numerous awards including Indiana Outstanding Young Educator (1971), Indiana Principal of the Year (1991) and Indiana Charter School Association Educator of the Year (2004).
Since her retirement, one key area of Wease’s volunteer service has been to improve the lives of seniors in Lake County and throughout the state. She is passionately committed to making sure that Indiana’s seniors are able to meet their basic needs and have the quality of life they deserve. As a volunteer and past board president for Northwest Indiana Meals on Wheels, she oversaw the construction of a $3 million meal-preparation facility with the capacity to prepare and store up to 3,000 meals per day. In addition, she and her husband Eugene deliver meals to seniors three or more times each month. Wease also serves on the board of the Northwest Indiana Community Action Corp., which serves needy seniors through a variety of programs. Jeanne also is active with the Indiana Retired Teachers Association (RTA), serving as a board member of the Lake County RTA and coordinating vacation tours for that group as well.
As a retired educator, Wease has a particular passion for ensuring opportunities for Indiana’s youth, especially those who begin life with the odds stacked against them. Over the years, her work for the Campagna Academy for at-risk youth and her work as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for at-risk children have made a crucial difference in the lives of many Lake County youngsters.
In her role as an AARP Executive Council member and the volunteer leader for AARP in Northwest Indiana, Wease helps ensure that seniors are informed and educated on the issues that affect them, and she works to support state and federal legislation that benefits people aged 50+.
“Jeanne embodies all that the Andrus Award stands for and is,” said AARP Indiana State Director June Lyle. “I can think of no better or more deserving person to receive this award than Jeanne. We are so fortunate to have her as part of the AARP Indiana team.”