AARP AARP States Virginia Volunteering


Lorraine Bratton Receives Andrus Award
Left to right:: Dr. Warren Stewart, AARP Virginia State President; Lorraine Bratton, Andrus Award Winner; Bill Kallio, AARP Virginia State Director; Jacob Lozada, member AARP national board of directors.


CHARLOTTESVILLE _ AARP Virginia has awarded Lorraine Bratton of Vinton the Andrus Award for Community Service, the organization’s highest volunteer honor.  In addition, nine other volunteers, three AARP chapters and a university were honored for service to the community.

“By awarding the Andrus Award, we celebrate the memory of AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus,” said AARP Virginia State Director Bill Kallio.  “The AARP Andrus Award pays tribute to individuals whose work and achievements reflect AARP’s vision of bringing lifetimes of experience and leadership to serve all generations.”

The awards were presented at a banquet in Charlottesville on Wednesday, November 28.

Bratton is a native of Vinton and retired in 1995 after a career with Appalachian Power Company.  She joined the AARP family as a volunteer for the AARP Virginia Advocacy Team in 2002.  In addition to her role as a state legislative specialist for AARP, she also is a grassroots advocacy specialist, communicating with her local members of Congress regarding issues important to the 50+ population.

In April 2012, the Local Office on Aging honored Bratton with the Babe and Sidney Louis Memorial Award for her work recruiting volunteers for the LOA’s Meals on Wheels program through AARP’s Create the Good.  Through her efforts, the program recruited an additional 30 volunteers.  In addition, it helped LOA reach countless people who otherwise would not know about the volunteer needs of the Meals on Wheels program.  She also spearheaded AARP’s involvement in the LOA’s Soup for Seniors canned soup drive in January 2012, which set a record in soup collection.  In 2007, Bratton received the AARP Virginia President’s Award for her work and dedication as an AARP volunteer.

Other awards presented included:

The President’s Awards for Community Service: Presented by AARP Virginia State President Warren Stewart, The President’s Awards for Community Service are given to deserving individuals or groups chosen at the AARP State President’s discretion.  This year’s winners are:

  • Lucy Ferrebee of Buena Vista, a state and community service volunteer lead as well as a congressional district volunteer lead. Lucy is working to refurbish the Buena Vista Colored School as a historic site.
  • Wahed Hossiani of Springfield is a state and community service volunteer, a congressional district volunteer and a capital strike force volunteer. He joined the AARP team in 2006 and has worked tirelessly on the food drive, among other projects.
  • Pat Jones-Jackson of Richmond is president of her chapter in Richmond and serves on the diversity council. She is an active volunteer in the Richmond area and is always willing to support the work of AARP, such as health fairs, multicultural events and Rebuilding Together projects.
  • Linda Leak of Boydton in Mecklenburg County serves as vice president and legislative chair of her chapter, as well as a state and community service volunteer and a congressional district volunteer lead. Additionally, she conducted six You’ve Earned a Say events.
  • Marilyn Maxwell of Big Stone Gap in Wise County serves on the Executive Council. Marilyn has developed a distinguished career in rural aging.  As the founder and Executive Director of Mountain Empire Older Citizens, she has spent a lifetime creating new programs and services to help meet the needs of low-income seniors in rural Appalachia.  She is a strong supporter of AARP and has given her time both personally and professionally to advance our work in deep southwest Virginia.
  • Steve Morrison of McLean serves as an advocacy volunteer, a congressional district volunteer and a state and community service volunteer. He also conducted a You’ve Earned a Say event.  A retired teacher, Steve serves on the Fairfax Long Term Care council as the advocacy lead.
  • Neil Walsh of Norfolk serves as a state advocacy volunteer. Neil, a retired Navy nuclear submarine captain, is a social justice leader of his church.  He is very committed to social justice issues like ending predatory lending and ending financial exploitation.

Chapter of the Year Award: Recognizes chapters that demonstrate effective leadership, have followed AARP guidelines in developing strong chapter organization and have advanced the mission and purpose of AARP programs that reach out to the broader community.

  •  AARP Locust Grove Chapter #5239 members give over 3,000 hours a month of their time to better their lives of mature adults as well as the rest of the population of Locust Grove.  The Locust Grove Chapter has many community service projects and activities such as collecting for the food pantry, Tax Aide, a partnership with TRIAD and Vin Etching, shredding events, eyeglass recycling with the Lions Club, supporting animal shelters, promoting senior RAD (Resisting aggression with defense), Woods Cares (transportation and minor chores for those individuals in need), mentoring youth, Driver Safety programs, Day of Service activities, fundraisers for local charities and Election Day volunteer participation.  They also have a Travel Committee that organizes trips for members, families and friends.

Chapter Newsletter/Website of the Year Award: recognizes chapters that enhance awareness of AARP’s mission and purpose in the community by producing quality chapter newsletters.  Newsletters are evaluated in three main categories: content, design and creativity.

  • Dulles Chapter #4681
  • Kempsville Chapter #4212

Community Partner of the Year Award: recognizes an organization/agency that has made outstanding contributions to the work of AARP by collaborating with AARP volunteers and staff to enhance the quality of life for members of the community.

  • Old Dominion University and Sonia Yaco, Special Collections librarian and university archivist, well deserved partners for our 2012 Community of the Year Award for the work on the traveling Desegregation of Virginia Education (DOVE) exhibit.  The DOVE project was launched in March as a partnership between the ODU's Perry Library, AARP Virginia, the Virginia Conference NAACP and the Urban League of Hampton Roads.  It featured a traveling exhibit designed to encourage the preservation of records that tell the story of Virginia's school desegregation - through firsthand accounts of people who experienced both the segregation and desegregation of Virginia's public schools.

The award is in recognition of Yaco's leadership on the project.  AARP Virginia is honored to thank ODU and Sonia for the hard work, dedication and partnership for such an important initiative.  The exhibit will be at Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library from Jan. 7 to Feb. 14.  Information about the DOVE project and this initiative can be found on the University Library's' website.

Excellence Award: to an Executive Council member who has successfully completed their term of service as a part of a team of lead volunteers.

  • Ben Crawford of Blacksburg has served on the Executive Council for six years.  He also is a state and community service team member and a congressional district volunteer.

Gordon Morton Award: an individual AARP volunteer who has made outstanding contributions to the work of AARP in a manner consistent with the dedication and quality of work modeled by Gordon Morton, an AARP volunteer who passed away in 2002.

  • Sharon Gares has made a powerful impact on quality of life for people in Virginia Beach and across the Commonwealth since her appointment as an AARP Virginia volunteer in January 2010.  As a Create the Good volunteer, Sharon has promoted volunteer opportunities to AARP members, individuals and groups across the Tidewater.  She pioneered the first Create the Good Featured Project, a partnership with ForKids that has served as a model for promoting volunteerism with selected organizations.  In statewide Create the Good volunteer trainings, Sharon taught other volunteers how to create Featured Projects.  Sharon serves as a Tax Aide counselor as well as the program’s statewide Communications Director.  In 2012, Sharon became a You’ve Earned a Say Speakers Bureau volunteer.  Sharon also serves as a Community Ambassador, representing AARP at key coalitions in Virginia Beach, participating in the AARP Tidewater Council and representing AARP at numerous community events.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website,  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.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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