Virgil Cook of Blacksburg was recently bestowed the Andrus Award for Community Service, AARP’s highest volunteer honor. During his acceptance speech at a banquet in Staunton, Cook reflected upon the numerous volunteers who helped him throughout his life. They serve as his inspiration for giving back to others.
Brenda Kelly-Nelum, a loyal AARP volunteer, is a champion for senior citizens. She has been a longtime activist for standing up and protecting seniors from abuse and wrongdoings. A Washington D.C native, Brenda attended public school before they were integrated. In 1954, her 7 th grade year, she went from a small six room elementary school to the quite large Eastern High School. The transformation she said is unforgettable. Brenda continued her education and received a BA from Howard University.
Bruce Smith, a longtime activist, grew up in Falls Church, Virginia but moved to Vienna, Virginia after the death of his father. He credits his college years to his Mother’s Social Security Survivor Benefits and the two jobs she worked to help him through those tough years. Bruce gets his spirit from his Mother, a Virginia Republican leader and activist who championed women’s rights and civil rights—issues that the Republican Party advocated for in those days. Although Bruce was a College Young Republican leader and organizer, he began drifting. When pushed to make a choice between property rights and civil rights—he chose the latter.
As we age, most of us hope to remain in our homes as long as possible. That becomes more difficult as our ability to drive and handle daily chores becomes more limited. That’s where you can help.
Steve Scheibe is the 2012 recipient of the Fredericksburg Area AARP Chapter 3396 Wilson Corley Community Service Award. Scheibe has made a tremendous impact in the Fredericksburg area through his community service. He currently serves as President of the Fredericksburg Chapter. In addition, he represents AARP and TRIAD at information tables at numerous regional events such as the Art of Aging. For many years, Scheibe has volunteered with the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.” He also has dedicated significant time and energy to volunteering with the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank. He has spent many Saturday mornings filling boxes with food to benefit hungry families.
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