AARP Arkansas Honors Volunteer Leaders With 2013 Awards

Jack Harris of Searcy is the 2013 recipient of the Andrus State Award for Community Service, AARP’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award.

Harris received the award during AARP Arkansas’ 2013 Andrus Award and Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, held today at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock. Also presented today was AARP Arkansas’ Distinguished Service Award, which was received by Dr. Diana Glaze of North Little Rock.

The Andrus Award is AARP’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award for community service. The award recognizes outstanding individuals who made their communities better in ways that are consistent with AARP’s mission, vision and commitment to volunteer service, and who inspire others to volunteer.

AARP’s commitment to volunteer service can be traced back to the life and vision of founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. From the beginning, her motto, “To serve, not to be served,” has shaped AARP’s community service efforts at the national, state and local levels. The Andrus Award winner is nominated by his or her peers and the award recipient is chosen by a special selection committee consisting of AARP Arkansas volunteer leaders.

Harris has been at the forefront of AARP volunteer activities in Arkansas since the 1980s, serving as a mentor for many future volunteer leaders. Harris served six years as Coordinator of the Capitol City Task Force, managing advocacy volunteers prior to the opening of the state office and forging strong relationships with key state and national elected officials representing Arkansas.

“Jack is a constant presence at the state Capitol in Little Rock during legislative sessions and always plays a key role in advocacy,” said Maria Reynolds-Diaz, AARP Arkansas State Director.

Harris was among the 2006 inductees into the Senior Arkansans Hall of Fame. He also has served as an active delegate to multiple sessions of the Arkansas Silver Haired Legislature; as a charter member of the Silver Haired Legislature Alumni Association; and in key AARP leadership roles, including State Legislative Committee Chair, Assistant Coordinator for Grassroots & Federal Issues and Chapter President.

Dr. Glaze received AARP Arkansas’ 2013 Distinguished Service Award. She serves on the AARP Arkansas Leadership Council and is the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association (ARTA) liaison with AARP Arkansas. ARTA is affiliated with AARP and the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA). NRTA was founded by Dr. Andrus in 1947 based on concerns that so many retired educators had no health insurance and inadequate pensions.

“Diana has always exemplified the volunteer spirit of AARP. When something needs to be done, she is there,” Reynolds-Diaz said.