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AARP AARP States Virginia Volunteering

Shannon Abell: 2024 AARP Virginia Gordon Morton Award for Community Service

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AARP Virginia Associate State Director Brian Jacks, left, presents Shannon Abell with the 2024 Gordon Morton Award for Community Service.
Karen Taylor Davis

Shannon Abell of Roanoke is an invaluable asset to AARP Virginia 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. Abell's willingness to engage with various audiences, from live interviews to large conferences, demonstrates his versatility and effectiveness as a communicator.


Moreover, Abell's leadership roles, such as serving as a project lead for Grandparent's Day at the Virginia Museum of Transportation and assisting with Movies For Grownups, highlight his multifaceted contributions beyond fraud prevention. His efforts not only raise awareness but also facilitate opportunities for other volunteer presenters to contribute, thus fostering collaboration and community engagement.

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L-R AARP Virginia Executive Council member Sue Franklin, Kit Abell, Shannon Abell.
Karen Taylor Davis

Abell's credibility, stemming from his previous work at the Local Office on Aging, adds weight to his advocacy efforts. His recognition by the Virginia Attorney General underscores the significance of his work in combating fraud and supporting older adults in southwest Virginia.

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L-R AARP Virginia Associate State Director Brian Jacks, Shannon Abell, AARP Virginia Executive Council Member Sue Franklin.
Karen Taylor Davis

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.

Morton was best known for his long, active service with AARP. Known as “Mr. AARP” he also served as AARP area consultant, district director and in his late days of volunteerism as a community outreach specialist. He was awarded the Virginia AARP Community Spirit Award in 1998 and numerous other chapter awards. Morton served on the Virginia Beach Mayor’s Commission on Aging for 14 years, was a founding member of the Virginia Beach Task Force on Aging, and worked with other groups to address the issues of aging. Mayor Meyera Oberndorf proclaimed June 18, 1997 as “Gordon M. Morton Day” in Virginia Beach, citing his contributions to development of the TRIAD Program for seniors in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake and numerous other accomplishments. On June 21, 2002, he was presented the Jefferson Cup Award by the Mayor’s Commission On Aging for “Exceptional Accomplishments in Service to Senior Citizens.” He passed away Sept. 13, 2002.


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