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Retired Educator Named AARP Maine Andrus Award Winner for Community Service

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AARP Maine Announces Winner of Annual Andrus Award for Community Service

Honor Goes to Retired Educator, Star Pelsue, of Portland

AARP Maine is delighted to announce that Portland resident, Star Pelsue, is the winner of the 2020 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.

Pelsue’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 Star Pelsue, whose record of achievement, service and commitment provides an excellent example of one person making a significant difference in the lives of others.”

After more than two decades as a Developmental Therapist for young children, Pelsue left teaching to move in with her brother to help his family during a medical crisis. Upon her return to Maine in 2009, she started to volunteer and hasn’t looked back. “I didn't want to go back into the workforce as I wanted the flexibility to go and help my family when needed,” she said. “My work as a volunteer truly expanded.”

Pelsue currently volunteers for several organizations including Ronald McDonald House, AARP Maine, Wayside Food Programs, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Victoria Mansion. “The challenge is to remember not to spread myself too thin!” she says.  “There are just so many worthy groups that need support.” Pelsue is also a frequent participant in AARP Maine’s advocacy work, and serves as part of a group of dedicated activists and volunteers who meet with legislators, attend committee hearings and testify on issues of concern to Mainers 50+.

“Star is a tireless and highly-regarded volunteer across a myriad of tasks that she performs on behalf of our state office,” said Pinto. “She never hesitates to offer her time and talents on behalf of others. What a privilege it is to know her and to work with her!”

Pelsue is also a member of Legacy Scholars, 100+ Women Who Care in Southern Maine and the Maine League of Women Voters. She is married to her college sweetheart, Dr. Stephen Pelsue, an immunologist.

AARP Maine staff, volunteers and local members celebrated Pelsue during the annual volunteer recognition celebration, held as a virtual event this year.  

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 further explore our website, or call our office at 1-866-554-5380 if you would like to join our volunteer team.

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