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AARP Maine announces winner of Annual Andrus Award for Community Service

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Honor Goes to Volunteer Fire Fighter and Searsport Resident, Frank Whiting

PORTLAND  — AARP Maine announced Friday, Oct. 14 that retired volunteer fire fighter and Searsport resident, Frank Whiting, is the winner of the 2016 Andrus Award named in honor of AARP’s founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. The Andrus Award celebrates and honors individuals who make a difference in the lives of others, and it is the most prestigious and visible award AARP can present to an individual.

Mr. Whiting’s extraordinary public service actively embodies Dr. Andrus’ motto “To Serve, Not To be Served.” He began volunteering at the age of 14 when he recognized that an elderly neighbor needed assistance due to a painful foot condition. He has been volunteering ever since.  Now at the age of 80, Mr. Whiting continues to volunteer for multiple organizations.

Of particular note is Mr. Whiting’s service as a local volunteer fire fighter which he began while in his 30’s. He was active as a fire fighter for 46 years and still continues to service equipment, attend trainings and deliver food baskets to older and vulnerable residents during the holidays.  For several years, Mr. Whiting also drove the local ambulance.  In 1999, Mr. Whiting was honored as the “Firefighter of the Year” in Searsport.

Mr. Whiting’s volunteer service has also focused on children’s needs.  He has been a 4-H volunteer for the last sixteen years.  He fundraises for kids’ 4-H trips and has received many awards for being a 4-H Leaders Association member.

From 1953-1960, Frank served in the National Guard.  He joined the Masons in 1957 and is still an active member.

Frank Whiting’s wife, Lucy, sums up Mr. Whiting’s generous spirit perfectly: “Frank doesn’t know the word ‘no,’” she says.  “To his community, to his county, to his country, he is the epitome of volunteerism. Frank enhances the quality of life of the young and the old.  He touches everyone’s life in our community.”

AARP Maine celebrated Mr. Whiting in grand style yesterday in Hallowell at Maple Hill Farm during the annual volunteer recognition celebration with members of the Whiting family in attendance.

Rich Livingston, current AARP Maine Volunteer State President, stated “The AARP Maine Andrus Award acts as a symbol to our members and to the public that we can all work together for positive social change. We are deeply proud to be presenting this year’s award to Frank Whiting whose record of achievement, service and commitment provides an excellent example of one person making a significant difference in the lives of others.”

AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions AARP volunteers make to their communities, neighbors and the programs they serve. We welcome new volunteers to serve in a variety of roles with AARP Maine and hope you will take a look at our website, or call our office at 1-866-554-5380 if you would like to join our volunteer team.