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Sherry honored as AARP Missouri Andrus Award winner

Judy Sherry was honored as the AARP Missouri Andrus Award winner last month. She is shown here with AARP Missouri State Director Craig Eichelman.

Judy Sherry has been selected by AARP to receive the 2014 AARP Missouri Andrus Award for Community Service — the association’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award for community service.

{mprestriction ids="1"}AARP Missouri selected Sherry for her remarkable service, which has greatly benefitted her community, supported AARP’s vision and mission, and inspired other volunteers. The 74-year-old Jewish grandmother, along with another grandmother, Susan Blaney, founded the Missouri Kansas Chapter of Grandmothers against Gun Violence (GAG) in September 2013. Sherry currently serves as president of the organization that has more than 200 members in both Missouri and Kansas.

“I am honored and surprised, and believe it is a great recognition of the importance of the gun violence issue and the work of Grandmothers Against Gun Violence,” Sherry said. 

Sherry was honored during a reception at a regularly scheduled GAG meeting on Sept. 17. AARP Missouri presented GAG with a $1,500 donation in Sherry’s name at the award ceremony.

“This award acts as a symbol to the public that we can all work together for positive social change,” said Dr. Kathy Bond, AARP volunteer state president. “AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their communities, neighbors and the programs they serve.”

GAG was first formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy by grandmothers in Cape Cod, Mass., and Sherry co-founded the first chapter outside that area. The local GAG features speakers in critical fields related to gun violence, including experts on the Second Amendment, mental health, legislation and gun safety.

Sherry, a member of AARP for 24 years, has 33 years of experience in advertising and communications in the Kansas City area. “She never stops working to improve government, better education, supporting the arts, curb gun violence, lifting up the less fortunate and most importantly, inspiring like-minded people to collaborate for progress,” said Judie Becker, who nominated Sherry for the honor. Becker added that Sherry is involved in many community activities and pointed out one of many examples: Sherry helped raise $20,000 in a two-hour period for KCUR, the public radio station in Kansas City and NPR affiliate.

Because of her outreach efforts, Sherry and GAG have been featured in numerous publications, including The Kansas City Star, The Chronicle, The Best Times and bulletins published by a myriad of bi-state community organizations.

“All of Judy’s volunteer work hinges on enhancing the quality of life for all and positive social change,” Becker said.