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AARP AARP States Virginia Volunteering

AARP Volunteers Recognized at Awards Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  

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Nearly 100 volunteers across the state were recognized at the 2024 AARP Virginia Awards Celebration April 24.
Karen Taylor Davis

Richmond, Va. – AARP volunteers were applauded for their work at the 2024 AARP Virginia Awards Celebration. Dedicated to recognizing AARP Virginia’s most committed volunteers, this year’s awards honored individuals committed to community service and helping older adults’ money, health and happiness live as long as they do.

Nearly 100 AARP volunteers from across the Commonwealth participated in the celebration April 24 at the Delta Marriott Hotel in Richmond. Top volunteers were recognized with special awards

The 2024 AARP Virginia Volunteer Rookie of the Year award recipient is Susan Jones of Ashburn. The Rookie of the Year Award recognizes an individual AARP Virginia volunteer who has made outstanding contributions to the work of AARP Virginia in their first year of volunteer service to the organization.

Despite being relatively new to the organization herself, Jones has taken on mentoring responsibilities for other new volunteers, demonstrating her commitment to fostering a supportive community within AARP.

This year’s President’s Award for Community Service winners are Claudia Eckels of Midlothian, Linda Lindberg of Winchester and Larry Lipman of Falls Church. The President’s Awards for Community Service are given to deserving individuals or groups chosen at the discretion of AARP Virginia State President Joyce Williams, of Roanoke, to recognize the significant contributions they have made to the work of AARP Virginia over the last year.

Eckels holds several key roles within AARP showcasing her dedication and expertise in volunteer management and training. She ensures that volunteers are equipped with the necessary skills to fulfill their roles efficiently.

Lindberg serves as a volunteer reporter for the AARP Virginia Virtual Volunteer Newsroom and also serves on the Northern Virginia Community Outreach Team. She holds the distinction of writing the most stories for the AARP Virginia website in 2023.

Lipman, formerly the executive editor for state news at the AARP Bulletin until his retirement in 2018 and a past president of the National Press Club, serves as an editor for the AARP Virginia Virtual Volunteer Newsroom, a team of volunteer reporters who cover and promote AARP events in communities across the state. He also serves on the AARP Virginia Speaker’s Bureau.

This year’s recipient of the Elvira B. Shaw Advocacy Award is Michael Schuster of Alexandria. The award is in memory of Elvira Beville Shaw, a remarkable individual whose life was dedicated to serving her community and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Her extensive involvement in various boards and organizations, coupled with her passion for fair elections and advocacy for older adults, left a lasting impact on her community and beyond.

Schuster is an advocate for older Virginians, serving as chair of the Alexandria City Commission on Aging and the Eviction Prevention Committee for the Northern Virginia Aging Network (NVAN), as well as housing issue lead for AARP Virginia's State Advocacy Team. In 2023, his efforts led to the introduction of two bills and two budget amendments at the 2024 Virginia General Assembly.

The Chapter Service Award is meant to recognize a local AARP chapter whose work aligns with AARP’s mission and has made a positive impact in their community. This year’s AARP Virginia’s Chapter Service Award recipient is AARP Richmond North Chapter #5356, and chapter President Mary Clark accepted the award on behalf of the group. The chapter is dedicated to serving both its members and the community at large. The chapter organized a successful health fair in October 2023, where vendors, speakers, and demonstrations provided information on health issues. The Community Service Committee serves nursing homes and veterans through various activities like playing games, distributing roses on Valentine's Day, and contributing to the local food bank. The chapter meets the second Tuesday of every month except July and August at Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center, 4901 Old Brook Rd., Richmond, VA 23227-3422. AARP Chapters are independently-incorporated entities, and there are more than 800 across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The Gordon Morton Award for Community Service is named for Gordon Morton, who served as the first president of the Kempsville Chapter, and served a four-year term as AARP Director for Virginia before there was a state office or staff in the Commonwealth. The 2024 recipients of the Gordon Morton Award are Shannon Abell of Roanoke and Jackie Storrs of Henrico.

Abell is an asset to AARP and the community at large, serving as a dedicated representative and advocate. His commitment to disseminating vital information on topics such as fraud prevention and Medicare reflects his passion for empowering others. His willingness to engage with various audiences, from live interviews to large conferences, demonstrates his versatility and effectiveness.

Storrs’ dedication, enthusiasm, and leadership shine through in every aspect of her involvement. She actively engages with the community through various initiatives such as leading walking groups and participating in virtual line dancing classes. Her commitment to these activities and many others, regardless of weather conditions, demonstrates her reliability and dedication.

The AARP Virginia Awards honor AARP Virginia’s most dedicated volunteers. AARP Virginia volunteers provide outreach and advocacy for nearly one million AARP members in Virginia as well as all Virginians age 50-plus and are committed to community service and helping everyone age with dignity and purpose.

With nearly 1 million members in Virginia, AARP is the largest organization serving older adults and the families in the Commonwealth. To learn more about what AARP Virginia is doing in the community, visit our website, or follow us on Facebook and X. Find AARP events and programs near you at


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AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health and financial security, and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest-circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit,ñol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.


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