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AARP AARP States Tennessee Community

Kathy Parks Honored with 2017 Tennessee Andrus Award

Kingston’s Kathy Parks selected for AARP’s Most Prestigious Volunteer Award 

Andrus 2017 - Kathy Parks and TN staff
L-R: State Director Rebecca Kelly, 2017 TN Andrus winner Kathy Parks, Sr. Operations Associate Michelle Wisner, State President Kraig Smith

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – AARP is pleased to announce that Kathy Parks has been selected to receive the 2017 AARP Tennessee Andrus Award for Community Service.  This honor is the Association’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award, recognizing people for service which has greatly benefited the community, supporting AARP’s vision and mission, and inspiring others.  The award is named for AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus.

“This award acts as a symbol to members, and the public, that volunteers can make a significant difference in the lives of others and their community,” said AARP Tennessee State Director Rebecca Kelly.  “The work Kathy Parks has done throughout her community to help others is an inspiring example of how each of us can make an impact and work toward positive social change.”

Parks is a resident of Kingston, located in Roane County, and her commitment to the community includes:

  • Overseeing the local Elder Watch group, where she helped create a program called Round About Roane, which is a volunteer driver program to help seniors who are unable to drive get to doctor’s appointment, the grocery store, the bank, and just about anywhere else they need to go.
  • Helping to raise more than $15,000 in funds for meals to be delivered to seniors in Kingston.
  • Facilitating an Alzheimer’s Disease support group and a grief support group.
  • Kathy is also an alum of Leadership Roane County, where she served on the health committee to ensure the delivery of health services across the county.
  • She participates on the Roane County Dental Task Force, which responds to the need for preventive dental hygiene care for low-income, uninsured adults.


Andrus 2017 - Kathy and Kraig

Kathy is also an active volunteer with a group called Family Promise of Roane County, an organization that helps families transition from homelessness to sustainable independence which provides assistance to homeless families in the area. In honor of Kathy’s service and in recognition of her commitment, AARP Tennessee has made a $5,000 donation to Family Promise to support their work. Learn more about the organization on their website:

AARP’s highest award for community service, the Andrus Award, honors the work and legacy of AARP founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. From the beginning, her motto, “to serve, not to be served,” has shaped AARP’s community service efforts at the national, state and local levels. The Andrus Award winner is nominated by his or her peers and the award recipient is chosen by a statewide selection committee of AARP volunteers. Andrus Awards are presented in every state to acknowledge the volunteer work members engage in that enhances the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve the community for which the work was performed, and inspire others to volunteer.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a bilingual news source.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at .

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