PROVIDENCE – Norma Santaniello of North Providence will receive the 2013 AARP Rhode Island Andrus Award for Community Service next month – the association’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award for community service.
The AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for people 50 and older.
AARP Rhode Island selected Santaniello for service that has greatly benefited her community, supported AARP’s vision and mission, and inspired other volunteers.
Recipients across the nation are chosen for their ability to enhance the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve the community in or for which the work was performed, and inspire others to volunteer. The award will be formally presented at a luncheon ceremony on Dec. 6 at the West Valley Inn, West Warwick.
“This award acts as a symbol to the public that we can all work together for positive social change,” said AARP State Director Kathleen Connell. “AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their communities, neighbors, and the programs they serve.”
Santaniello’s legacy of service began when she was invited to join the State Legislative Committee some 18 years ago. She serves as the liaison to the AARP North Providence Chapter. As recording secretary, she has written numerous letters to Washington on advocacy issues and has testified many times before the General Assembly on long-term care, Social Security, and fair market pricing for prescription drugs.
“Norma has been working with the chapters and our community partners to reinforce AARP’s strategic priorities and to act as a public voice,” Connell added. “She is a strong advocate for community service and works with the volunteers on projects such as the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and at various health-and-fitness fairs.”
Santaniello joins a distinguished group of previous award winners, including Sarah Gauvin, Virginia Tierney, Anna Prior, Ann Gardella, Melvoid Benson, John O’Hara, Rita Wood, Ed Drew, Richard Ryan, Jorge Cardenas and Catherine Graziano.