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AARP Maine Announces Winner of Annual Andrus Award for Community Service

Sammee Quong Andrus Winner.JPG

AARP Maine announced today that Augusta resident, Sammee Quong, is the winner of the 2019 Andrus Award named in honor of AARP’s founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. The Andrus Award celebrates and honors individuals who make a difference in the lives of others, and it is the most prestigious and visible award AARP can present to an individual.

Quong’s extraordinary public service actively embodies Dr. Andrus’ motto “To Serve, Not To be Served.”

Pat Pinto, current AARP Maine Volunteer State President, stated “The AARP Maine Andrus Award acts as a symbol to our members and to the public that we can all work together for positive social change. We are deeply proud to be presenting this year’s award to Sammee Quong whose record of achievement, service and commitment provides an excellent example of one person making a significant difference in the lives of others.”

Quong is an active member of the Augusta Age-Friendly Committee and she recognized early on that one of the desires of local residents was the opportunity to engage socially. She spent a career as a nurse caring for those in need. Today, she fosters community, bringing people of all ages together to learn, advocate and have fun.

In just one example, Quong started a monthly coffee “klatch” at Lisa’s Restaurant and Catering and a monthly On-tap at the Black and Tan where residents can meet, talk and learn about programs, services and engagement opportunities in the area.

Quong also initiated a weekly walk on the Kennebec River Rail Trail, as she says, “to engage AARP members for companionship, conversation, physical exercise and to embrace nature."

Most recently, Quong organized the very first intergenerational “paddle fest” on the Kennebec River this summer. Almost 100 local boating enthusiasts participated along with community leaders, members of law enforcement and municipal staff. As Quong stated, “From grade school children with their families, to teenagers and octogenarians – it was truly intergenerational!"

Ms. Quong currently serves as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Viles Arboretum and is a champion of many environmental causes.

Quong is also a frequent participant in AARP Maine’s Tuesdays at the State House program. During the legislative session, she joins a group of dedicated activists and volunteers who meet with legislators, attend committee hearings and testify on issues of concern to Mainers 50-plus.

“Sammee is a tireless and highly impactful volunteer across a spectrum of tasks that she performs on behalf of our state office,” said Pinto. “She serves on our Advisory Council and never hesitates to offer her time and talents on behalf of others. It is our great privilege to know her and to work with her.”

AARP Maine staff, volunteers and local members celebrated Ms. Quong in grand style today at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lewiston during the annual volunteer recognition celebration with her family and friends in attendance. Quong has two children, Kymberlie and Nicholas, and two grandsons, Elliot and Campbell.
AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions AARP volunteers make to their communities, neighbors and the programs they serve. We welcome new volunteers to serve in a variety of roles with AARP Maine and hope you will take a look at our website, or call our office at 1-866-554-5380 if you would like to join our volunteer team.

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