AARP recognizes and values the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their state and communities. We couldn't do our work without them. Volunteers provide extraordinary service each day to improve the quality of life for Kansans.
Although 2020 looked a little different in terms of volunteer activities, our Kansas volunteers rose to the occasion to continue their volunteer service virtually. In 2020, awards were presented virtually to four outstanding volunteers.
The first award, the AARP Kansas Merle Bolton Award for Leadership, was given to Greg Yarnell, Wichita, who volunteers as the State Technology Specialist for the AARP Tax-Aide program in Kansas. Greg helped lead Tax-Aide volunteers through a tough year by ensuring that all 65 Tax-Aide sites in Kansas were kept up and running in some manner and serving volunteers and taxpayers. Greg also participated in and led the implementation of a new scheduling and appointment system for AARP Tax-Aide volunteers nationwide. In addition, Greg shared his expertise about the AARP Tax-Aide program during an AARP Kansas Live Coffee Chat on Facebook and plans to continue providing information in 2021. His efficient, calm and patient manner served AARP volunteers well.
The next award, the AARP Kansas Sonny Freeman Award for Advocacy Service, was presented to Rick Edgington, Overland Park. This award recognizes volunteers who are making a powerful difference in their communities. Rick is a veteran and has used his experience and compassion to assist other veterans in sharing their stories and finding out what AARP can do to help meet their unique needs. Rick also educates his fellow AARP Kansas volunteers about veterans issues and encourages them to participate in activities to provide information and resources to veterans in need. Sharing the award with Rick are Richard and Maxine Goucher, Pleasanton. Richard and Maxine are long-time AARP advocacy volunteers who work tirelessly to advocate on behalf of Kansans 50 and older, particularly in the areas of affordable utilities, caregiving and healthcare. Maxine is a member of the AARP Executive Council and both serve on the AARP Capital City Task Force.
The final award, the AARP Ann Garvin Award for Excellence in Community Service (named after long-time Topeka volunteer Ann Garvin) was presented to Stu Ervay, Springhill. Stu has worked tirelessly to champion positive social change in the areas of caregiving and disrupting outdated thoughts about aging. He currently serves on the AARP Kansas Executive Council, is a member of the Johnson County Advocacy group and writes a weekly blog for the state website, www.aarp.org/ks about his personal experiences as the husband of a wife with Alzheimer’s. Stu has contributed his expertise at several state and national meetings on the topics of caregiving and how to disrupt aging.
AARP congratulates these award winners and thanks them for their continued service to AARP and their state and community. If you'd like to get involved with AARP Kansas as a volunteer, please reach out to us by calling 866-448-3619 or emailing us at email@example.com or Andrea Bozarth at firstname.lastname@example.org.