AARP Wisconsin: Livingston man wins top volunteer award

Contact: Jim Flaherty, Office: (608) 286-6308 Cell: (608) 698-0928
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Madison – Livingston resident LaVern (Buzz) Marshall will be presented with AARP Wisconsin’s highest and most prestigious honor – the “2016 Andrus Award for Community Service” – at a ceremony this Friday, Sept. 16, at the Iowa-Grant School High School lobby, 462 Iowa Grant Rd., Livingston. The brief ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m.

“This award honors Buzz’s tireless commitment to making life better for others,” said AARP Wisconsin State Director Sam Wilson. “Through decades of volunteer service, Buzz has built up the trust, influence and respect it takes to accomplish great things for those who need help throughout western Wisconsin and across the entire state. He is a true pillar of his community.”

Marshall, who just recently turned 82 years old, has served nearly a decade as an active and involved volunteer advocate for AARP, performing tasks such as writing and delivering letters to the editor, attending public hearings, distributing information at fairs and exhibits, and birddogging candidates.

But his service has not stopped there. He nearly single-handedly built and sustained AARP’s CarFit program across Wisconsin and has taught 85 AARP Driver Safety classes with 529 participants since becoming an instructor.

“Buzz goes above and beyond the definition of volunteer, and serves as an inspiring example of the phrase ‘service before self,’” Wilson said. “Buzz is committed to doing whatever he can to make life better for all of us as we age.”

As part of his award, Marshall was given the opportunity to select an organization to receive a $1,000 donation from AARP. He has chosen to give the funds to the Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation Fund.

“I am very honored, humbled and pleased to receive this award. It is something I did not expect. I’m very happy to be the recipient of this honor,” Marshall said. “I think AARP does a great job with the systems they have in place for education and safety for seniors. I’m pleased to continue being a part of a system that improves longevity for senior drivers.”

Recipients of the Andrus Award (named after AARP founder Ethel Percy Andrus) in each state across the nation are chosen for their ability to enhance the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve the community in which the work was performed, and inspire others to volunteer.

“We are so pleased to be able to honor Buzz for his commitment to helping others,” Wilson said. “He is truly one in a million. AARP recognizes and highly values the spirit of volunteerism, as well as the important contributions that a volunteer like Buzz makes to his community.”