AARP Eye Center
When she started her post-retirement career as an AARP volunteer, Trudy Marotta never expected she would win an award. So you can imagine how surprised she was when asked to be interviewed about receiving the 2021 AARP Virginia President’s Award.
With a kind smile and a laugh that lit up the “Zoom room," it was clear why Trudy is one of AARP Virginia’s winners this year.
Prior to her husband’s death in 2015, Trudy received numerous AARP newsletters and postcards inviting her to various events. Although they piqued her interest, Trudy was a fulltime caregiver, leaving little time to attend events. Even after her husband passed away, Trudy hesitated to get back out in the community.
Trudy continued to receive AARP invitations and finally, after the third invitation, she gave in. “I thought it was time to get out the door and start living again,” she said.
At her first meeting for new volunteers, Trudy spoke with others about all things AARP. Trudy left the conversation feeling inspired and eager to join. “It was the diversity, the social contact, and the advocacy that inspired me to join,” she said. Trudy has now been an important member of the AARP family for seven years.
As a Community Ambassador, her official volunteer position, Trudy looks for projects that pique her interest or that require skills she’s perfected through her working life. One of the larger and more notable projects she’s worked on is the annual Scam Jam. With over 250 guests, this three-hour fraud and scam prevention seminar was an important event held in conjunction with Fairfax County’s Silver Shield Task Force at the County's Government Center. In addition, Trudy acted as a co-host for other groups and events, helping to share information about AARP’s programs, advocacy issues, and available activities. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Trudy hosted AARP movie events where she checked in guests and acted as an information resource.
"For someone thinking about joining AARP: I would tell them to jump in with both feet. AARP is an exciting place to volunteer, has a great group of volunteers and staff, and always has something new and different to learn,” Trudy said. It’s why she never wanted to volunteer anywhere else, stating that the diversity at AARP and the people she’s met through the organization has changed her life.
As of January 2022, Trudy had hosted or co-hosted over 75 virtual presentations–something she never would have imagined as she previously had little knowledge of virtual platforms. Since learning how to navigate these platforms and becoming the guru of online meeting spaces, Trudy has now hosted or co-hosted: 25 fraud presentations;
15 Tuesday Explorers classes; eight retirement planning panels; seven brain health sessions; a job search workshop; a home fit presentation; a Social Security presentation; a Scam Jam; and the Boomer Academy.
Trudy said there is no age limit to having fun, and--as she has proven--there is also no age limit to success.
Trudy Marotta was selected to receive the 2021 AARP Virginia President’s Award. This award is given to a small number of AARP Virginia volunteers who have been chosen to be recognized by our state president, Joyce Williams, for their significant contributions to the work of AARP Virginia over the last year.