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Kentucky Kernels

Volunteer Newsletter November-December 2018

From the Desk of Charlotte Whittaker

Charlotte Whittaker

My November newsletter will reach you after the mid-terms elections. Hopefully we encouraged people to Be the Difference and vote. Looking forward to 2019 and working together for the many needs of our 50+ population. AARP Kentucky would like to honor our many caregivers across our nation. November is “National Family Caregivers Month”. We say, “thank you,” for all you do as a special caregiver. November is also Veterans month. AARP Kentucky has been very active providing information and outreach to our Veterans, Military, and their families. Our Kentucky volunteers have been very active presenting Fraud Watch Network programs across the state, with several of those targeted to Veterans groups. Many thanks to new partners in the state, working alongside of AARP, to keep our seniors safe. It is certainly an honor to work with these wonderful men and women who have served our country. I encourage you and your chapters to do something special for your Veterans in November. AARP has created a new AARP Social Security Resource Center ( This will certainly help our members make informed decisions about how and when to claim Social Security benefits. Also, please mark your calendars for these important dates: October 15 - December 7, 2018. These are the dates to change your Medicare health or prescription drug coverage for 2019. This includes returning to original Medicare or joining a Medicare Advantage Plan. I plan to have a Medicare Part D plan analysis. Make sure you choose the plan that will save you the most money next year. As we approach the holidays, I would like to wish you a Blessed Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas. Looking forward to all our future volunteer work in 2019.

VFW Southern Conference

Scott Wegenast

Louisville was selected as the host city for the 2018 Veterans of Foreign Wars Southern Conference. We’re proud of our volunteers from Louisville for helping welcome veterans from its 14 state region. State President Charlotte Whittaker’s remarks to the 300 VFW and VFW Auxiliary members were streamed live on AARP Kentucky Facebook. Charlotte spoke in advance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and shared AARP’s commitment to veterans, “We know ‘nobody does more for veterans than VFW’. And AARP knows veterans have served our country and now – it’s time for AARP to serve you.” Volunteers collected Be The Difference campaign voter pledges and shared Fraud Watch Operation Protect Veterans tips and tools. Coming up next, Charlotte, volunteers in Bowling Green, and Eric Evans are coordinating outreach during the statewide VFW Department of Kentucky Fall Conference in Bowling Green. Watch Charlotte’s presentation online. See how AARP is supporting Veterans, Military, and their families, here:

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Nov/Dec 2018

Kentucky Kernels

KSU Homecoming Reunion Gala

Dr. Merrylyn Moran Smith

The BEST way I know to “Tell the Story” is from our volunteers who represented AARP at Kentucky State University. The 2018 Homecoming was the type of event that made AARP shine, not because we sponsored it, but because MOST of those in attendance never thought of AARP in a certain way. It was beautiful, appropriate and well done. We mixed with everyone, and AARP was out front in seating, recognition and appearance. And our thanks to State Director Ron Bridges for allowing me and others to shine for AARP. Billye Peeples: Loved this AARP Sponsored KSU Reunion event. It gave a face to face acknowledgment and connection with attendees as well as the community. AARP’s Brand was well represented with acknowledgement and appreciation. Craig and Judy Nicholson: The KSU Alumni dinner sponsored by AARP was a very memorable event. When you walked into the beautifully decorated room, it was just the beginning of a wonderful evening. Past and present KSU students providing the entertainment was a wonderful idea, the meal was great with a pleasing menu. I was glad to represent AARP and what they stand for. Ruby Mason: I'm incredibly grateful to AARP for the opportunity to be a part of the representation at the Kentucky State University 2018 Reunion Gala. There was no question as to who the major sponsor was at the Gala. We were recognized several times and had the best seats in the house. Again, thank you for the opportunity to represent AARP. James “Jim” Thurman: I personally thought that it was a great event. It was well organized and the food was excellent. AARP had a dominant position in front during the entire event. We were well publicized as the major sponsor. Overall, I would give it an A plus. Kenneth and Betty Gibson: It was a wonderful event. As former employees of Kentucky State University and AARP members, we were happy and very proud. AARP was recognized several times and many told us how MUCH they appreciated AARP contribution.

YMCA 55+ Health & Safety Fair

Donald Hoffman

AARP was ably represented at the annual North Lexington Family YMCA 55+ Health and Safety Fair. Volunteers distributed AARP Fraud Watch, voter engagement and veterans information. Other participants provided a variety of health screenings; information on grandparenting, financial , credit and cell phone security; YMCA exercise opportunities; nutrition, prescription checks, fire safety, police security and free safety auto checks to north end Lexington residents.

Nov/Dec 2018

Kentucky Kernels

Lexington Mayor Candidate Forum

Page 3 Scott Wegenast

AARP Kentucky volunteers made the difference during the Lexington Mayoral Candidate Forum. AARP grassroots volunteers supported the forum by greeting the candidates and forum guests while collecting Be The Difference voter pledges, staffing a remote Watch Party, and Executive Council member Dr. Merrylyn Moran Smith served as Forum “Time-Keeper.” Attending the live event with volunteers were local Lexington Chapter President Carol Grange, State Director Ron Bridges, State President Charlotte Whittaker, and past AARP Board Member Tim Kelly. The collaboration between the state office, WKYT-TV and local organizations gave voters in Fayette County three options to learn more about Lexington’s next Mayor, which is an open seat after November. Questions were collected across the city’s Library Branches and included deeper issue questions on where candidates stand on 50+ issues. Candidates fielded responses from WKYT News Anchor Bill Bryant on housing options, land use, age-friendly growth, walkability and more. Voters had multiple options to view the debate: attending forum live in Central Library Theater, joining a Northside Library - AARP Watch Party, viewing live-streaming online, watching an after-forum “RE-WIND & WATCH - 2018 Lexington Mayoral Debate” digital promotion with WKYT. The debate drew earned media coverage in print, television, and radio across Lexington’s market, including the lead story on WKYT news, the next morning’s TV news, and throughout the following day on WVLK, Lexington’s largest talk radio news station. As part of AARP’s agreement with WKYT-TV, the forum will be available online for voters to view through the last week of October. Take the Pledge today -

Chapter Mini Grants

Rachel Fautz

Each AARP Chapter in Kentucky has the opportunity to receive $500 to develop an outreach activity or event to benefit veterans, military, and their families. In order to receive the $500, the Chapter must submit a 1-page approval form. Once the event/activity has concluded, the Chapter must submit a 1-page report. All activities must occur by December 16, 2018. Forms have been emailed to Chapter contacts and hard copies were mailed to Chapter Presidents. Veterans, military, and their families are a priority audience for AARP. In the spirit of Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus’ impactful words “To serve, not to be served,” AARP has the opportunity to strategically and demonstrably help those who have served America, defended the nation’s freedoms and liberties, and sacrificed at home and abroad. Key Messages:  “AARP values all Veterans, members of the military, and their families. We are thankful for their service and for all the sacrifices they make to protect our nation.” 

“AARP is proud to have millions of Veterans and Military as part of our membership base, and we will continue to work to improve their experience with our programs and information.”

If you have any questions, please reach out to me at or by phone at 502.394.3439.

You’ll notice the Volunteer Spotlight section is missing in this issue. Someone whose name rhymes with Machel forgot to contact volunteers this month for the feature. My apologies to everyone! The Spotlight will be back in January, maybe with 3-4 volunteers highlighted rather than just two in order to make up for the lapse.

AARP Kentucky 10401 Linn Station Road, Suite 121 Louisville, KY 40223 1-866-295-7275 Staff: Ron Bridges — State Director Tihisha Rawlins — ASD Grassroots Initiatives Scott Wegenast — ASD Communications Eric Evans — ASD Advocacy & Outreach TBD — ASD Advocacy & Outreach Rachel Fautz — Sr. Operations Associate Aneshia Gray — Sr. Program Assistant

Mt. Washington Chapter Bill Harned Sharon Turner and Trish Roberts took a turn at collecting food and donations at ValuMarket on September 8. The day of service work by 8 volunteers resulted in a $1,600 donation of food and cash to Mt. Washington Community Ministries’ food bank. Ralph Clark received the donation from Rita Harned at the October chapter meeting. @aarpky

Portland Chapter

Janet Cherry

AARP Chapter #2526 is on fire. I guess we are still feeling it from the HOT summer! We are always trying to raise money to give to nonprofits. This month we had a big yard sale, but the weather did not think much of it. We only had a few people show up, sooooo we bought from each other. What a day. This month will be much better because November is Hot Donuts Month; wish all Chapters could order. Have a good winter.

Tax Time is Coming Soon

Dick Trowbridge

November 5 will be the last information/orientation session for those interested in helping with this vital community service – free tax preparation service. Nationwide, we helped with well over 2 million tax returns last season. To learn more about volunteering, in Louisville contact the Tax-Aide office at 502-394-3443, or email, and register for this brief presentation that only takes about an hour. November 14 is set for an all-day session for new volunteers to become acquainted with the IRS provided software, TaxSlayer. It is used at over 70 sites across KY to prepare both federal and state returns. Formal classes will be held in January to enable counselors to become IRS certified. Not all volunteers prepare returns, others are needed to serve as greeters, office assistants, technology and computer repair personnel, and various leadership roles. A bonus for most Tax-Aide volunteers is that the volunteer service only runs from February 1 to April 15! Visit the Louisville Tax-Aide web site at for more information. There are many sites across KY and interested volunteers will be referred to their nearest district for more details.

Profile for AARP Kentucky

AARP Kentucky Volunteer Newsletter November-December 2018