AARP chapter to celebrate its 20th anniversary

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LEWISTON – Androscoggin Chapter 4077 AARP will celebrate its 20th anniversary in September.

The chapter was founded in 1986 and organized by Dorothy Morissette with a board of directors who are responsible for management of affairs, property, programs and interests of the chapter and for keeping the national group informed of the activities of the chapter.

The chapter was incorporated on Dec. 24, 1987, approved by Ronald E. Stewart, assistant state director of AARP Maine. In May 1988 it was registered in the state. The first formal meeting was held in September 1987.

There were many community projects over the years, the first being the Nursing Home Community Council. The training of volunteers began on Sept. 15, 1987, with Eleanor Blais as instructor. The first visits took place in October with a focus on residents who had few or no visitors.

The chapter had 22 volunteers in 1988 and 40 in 1989 who visited five nursing homes. By September 1992 it added another nursing home and had 48 visitors, including 10 Bates College students. By 1993, nursing home regulations changed and the chapter was not needed as residents either became too ill and were no longer available.

Other projects included the reading program and Longley School, which began in 1991 and continued for several years. Lois Rousseau, with AARP in Washington, prepared a resource directory for long-term care services in the Lewiston-Auburn area. Members prepared food baskets for the needy and gave donations to community projects.

Seniors programs included financial planning, legislative activities, staying healthy, safety in the home and elsewhere, elder law, tax aid and prescription drugs.

The 10th anniversary of the chapter’s founding was celebrated on Sept. 16, 1997, at the Multi-Purpose Center. The past presidents were honored and given tokens of appreciation. In Oct. 23, 1997, Arnold Leavitt, district coordinator, presented Chapter President Marion Collins a plaque commemorating the 10-year founding of the Androscoggin Chapter on behalf of the national and state chapters.

The chapter has continued to be active in state and national projects, including a day of service each year. A meeting will be held later in August to plan for the 20th anniversary celebration. The chapter history was compiled by Shirley Small and Anne LaRocca.

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