The 2018 AARP Oklahoma Andrus Award for Community Service was presented to Jerry Baxter of Oklahoma City during AARP’s Volunteer Celebration and Andrus Award luncheon in Oklahoma City on November 1, 2018.
Baxter is one of four Andrus Award nominees who were recognized at the AARP Oklahoma Volunteer Celebration and Andrus Award luncheon. The Andrus Award for Community Service is named in honor of AARP founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus and is the highest honor presented by AARP.
Baxter was honored for his work with Veterans Corner, an all-volunteer group of more than 100 veterans helping veterans and surviving spouses. Since inception, Veterans Corner has assisted 75,000 veterans in Oklahoma with Veterans Administration benefit claims. In addition to serving as the treasurer for eight years, Baxter buys and delivers food, transports veterans to their medical appointments and picks up medical devices and wheelchairs for rework and distribution to veterans. He also builds wheelchair ramps and helps clean up veterans’ properties, and he mows the Veterans Corner seven-acre property. When accepting the Andrus Award, an emotional Baxter said of the veterans he serves, "You send them to me and I'll help them."
“This year’s honoree, Jerry Baxter, is a shining example of the power that our volunteers have to make their communities better in ways that reflect AARP’s mission,” said Sean Voskuhl, AARP OK state director. “Mr. Baxter has a unique ability to inspire others and lead them to action.”
Others recognized as 2018 Andrus award finalists include nominees Melvin Latham of Oklahoma City, Mike Misner of Burns Flat and Dr. Norman Simon of Tulsa. Also recognized during the 2018 AARP Oklahoma Volunteer Celebration and Andrus Award luncheon:
- AARP Tax-Aide Volunteer of the Year, Joseph Tower
- AARP Drivers Safety Volunteer of the Year, Louise Barnett
- AARP Oklahoma Legacy Award, Tewanna Edwards
- Outstanding community work by the AARP Oklahoma Fraud Fighters, volunteers focused on Native American outreach, advocacy, aging in place experts and the Senior Community Service and Community Employment Project
Dr. Andrus was a champion for all generations who believed, as AARP believes today, that all generations in America must be connected by a strong commitment to values, community and service. Like Dr. Andrus, the AARP Oklahoma honorees and volunteers recognized for their work exemplify her legacy of service to others.
AARP Oklahoma State President Joe Ann Vermillion praised the volunteers who give so freely of their time and talents saying, “It makes us happy to do the things we do and work for the senior citizens of Oklahoma.”
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Volunteer Celebration 2018 Program FINAL