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AARP Virginia State President Presents Awards at Banquet

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Virginia Volunteers Honored for Community Service

STAUNTON_ AARP Virginia State President Bob Blancato presented Marilyn Maxwell of Norton and Thomas J. Sellinger of Cloverdale with the highly-esteemed President’s Award in Staunton on November 12.

The President's Awards for Community Service are given to deserving individuals or groups chosen at the discretion of AARP State President Bob Blancato. Past recipients have included exceptional chapter presidents and community outreach, advocacy, and training volunteers who have furthered AARP's social impact agenda.

Maxwell completes her term on the AARP Virginia Executive Council this year. She also serves as co-chair of the Advisory Board for Cancer Center Without Walls, a UVA Cancer Center project in southwest Virginia. Additionally, she now serves as chair of the Board of Southwest Virginia Graduate Medical Education which operates out of UVA at Wise.

Thomas J. Sellinger is a retired sales and marketing professional with 36 years of experience in the railroad industry. He is involved with several charities in the Roanoke Valley, such as AARP, Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

In his volunteer capacity with AARP Virginia, Sellinger is on the Federal Advocacy Team, the Fraud Watch Team, and on the Public Speakers Bureau, speaking to groups on topics such as Social Security, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Fraud Watch Network.

Maxwell’s role as Executive Director Emeritus of Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. involves her in many different areas of service in the region. She is particularly involved in the Mountain Laurel Cancer Resource and Support Center of MEOC and will be directly involved in Cancer Survivorship initiatives in a new grant to the UVA Cancer Center, to which she is looking forward.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my AARP service and feel truly fortunate to have been associated over the years with all the very impressive and committed staff and Executive Council members both past and present,” Maxwell said. “It has been an honor and a privilege and an experience I cherish. I was always very proud to have been associated with AARP and will continue to support its goals and objectives.”

Blancato, who has served as AARP Virginia’s state president for three years, is the chief volunteer representing more than one million AARP members in Virginia and an advocate for all Virginians age 50+. He lives in Arlington and is President of Matz, Blancato, & Associates, a full-service firm integrating strategic consulting, government affairs, advocacy services and association and coalition management based in Washington, DC. He is the National Coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition.

AARP Virginia also recognized volunteers with the following awards at the banquet:

Andrus Award for Community Service: The annual Andrus Award for Community Service is AARP’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award. It recognizes individuals who are sharing their experience, talent, and skills to enrich their communities in ways that are consistent with AARP’s mission, vision, and commitment to volunteer service, and that inspire others to volunteer. Only one Virginia volunteer (or couple performing service together) can receive the Award.

Elvira B. Shaw Advocacy Award: The Elvira B. Shaw Advocacy Award was created in 2013 in memory of Elvira Beville Shaw’s outstanding service as an advocate for over 40 years on behalf of AARP Virginia. The annual recipient of this award may be an individual or a team who has demonstrated dedication to AARP’s legislative priorities, effectiveness in advocacy outcomes, and exceeded the call of duty in their willingness to serve.

Gordon Morton Award : The Gordon Morton Award is presented to 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.

Chapter Awards: The purpose of the Chapter Awards is to recognize the education, advocacy, and service work of chapters that contribute to achieving AARP’s mission by highlighting outcomes and impact on their communities regardless of Chapter size or demographic. These awards give Chapters the opportunity to showcase their work for countless hours of service devoted to enhancing the experience of aging and AARP’s mission.

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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