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Richland couple wins AARP community service award

Andrus Award Winners Mary and Scott Aldrich

KALAMAZOO, MI – Mary and Scott Aldrich of Richland – dedicated and compassionate volunteers who are active in Senior Services of Southwest Michigan and several other area programs – are the winners of the 2016 Andrus Award for Community Service, AARP’s most prestigious volunteer honor.

The Andrus Award honors Michiganders who are sharing their experience, talent, and skills to enrich the lives of their senior community members. The tribute recognizes outstanding individuals who made their communities better in ways consistent with AARP’s mission, vision and commitment to volunteer service.

“AARP Michigan takes great pride in congratulating Scott and Mary Aldrich for their tireless community service,” said Chris Holman, volunteer President of AARP Michigan. “Their exemplary record of achievement, service and commitment as volunteers clearly demonstrates the difference volunteerism can make in the lives of individuals and in the well-being and vitality of a community.”

The Aldriches received their award Thursday in Kalamazoo.

Mary and Scott are members of the Senior Services RSVP. Mary is involved with RSVP’s Helping Hands Happy People program, where she coordinates distribution of more than a thousand knit and crochet items to adult nursing home residents and to children in area hospitals.

She also is a counselor for the Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program, guiding older adults through the maze of health care regulations. As a school volunteer, she helps students with writing, reading and spelling. And as an Emergency Management volunteer for the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department, she tracks hazardous material sites, collects information and forwards it to local first responders.

Scott is a volunteer for Tuesday Toolmen, which provides home repairs to improve energy efficiency, safety and accessibility for area seniors. He sits on the Tuesday Toolmen Steering Committee, where he co-authored a ramp building standards and instruction manual. Last year, Scott’s time and skills assisted in 150 home repair projects.

He also serves on the Board of Directors at Senior Services and contributes his time and talent to agency events. And he is involved with Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes, where he helps with the local hunger relief effort.

“Mary and Scott are excellent examples of Baby Boomers who are not resting on their laurels, or their lawn chairs,” said Alexandria Osborne of Portage, who has worked with the couple on volunteer projects. “They have a passion for helping others and have committed the second part of their lives to service. Their can-do attitude and genuine love of people inspire everyone they meet.”

The award is named for AARP founder Ethel Percy Andrus. Each state annually honors an award recipient.

AARP Andrus Award for Community Service nominees must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Nominees must be 50 years or older.
  • The accomplishments, achievements, or service on which the nomination is based must have been performed on a volunteer basis, without pay.
  • The accomplishments, achievements, or service on which the nomination is based must reflect AARP’s vision and mission.
  • Couples or partners who perform service together are also eligible, however teams are not eligible.
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