AARP West Virginia has presented its highest volunteer recognition to Ruth Wagner of St. Marys, who has been named as the recipient of the 2012 Andrus Award for Community Service.
The AARP Andrus Award for Community Service recognizes AARP volunteers who in the past year have made a difference in their communities in ways that support AARP's mission, vision and strategic direction and that inspire others to volunteer. The award is named in honor of AARP founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, whose pioneering efforts to enrich and improve the quality of life for older Americans have prompted millions to adopt her philosophy: "To Serve: Not to be Served."
For nearly 50 years, Wagner has been active through her charitable and civic involvement in Pleasants County and the Mid-Ohio Valley. She has been a community leader with many firsts - first female St. Marys City Council member, first female mayor of St. Marys and first female Pleasants County Development Authority director. She has also served as West Virginia field service manager for the American Red Cross and secretary to the W.Va. 2-Interstate 68 Authority.
AARP West Virginia director Gaylene Miller, left, and AARP state president Randy Myers congratulate the 2012 Andrus Award recipient, Ruth Wagner of St. Marys.
In 2000, Wagne was instrumental in the development of Pleasants Christian Outreach Center, a nonprofit, faith-based organization that improves and facilitates communications and partnerships with churches and administers mission projects and community assistance to benefit low-income residents in the county.
From 2006-11, Wagner served as AARP West Virginia president. In her role as AARP's chief state volunteer, she led AARP's nine-member State Executive Council and served as the group's primary spokesman. She has served as an AARP state volunteer for more than 15 years.
"Ruth has been an example, mentor, leader, encourager and friend to many new, current and prospective AARP volunteers throughout West Virginia," said Gaylene Miller, AARP West Virginia state director. "She is most deserving of this honor, and we congratulate her and all of this year's nominees for their commitment to their communities."
Wagner and this year's nominees were honored during AARP West Virginia's Andrus Award volunteer recognition event in Charleston Sept. 18.