Capital City Weekly
KETCHIKAN — Ed Zastrow of Ketchikan has been selected by AARP, the nonprofit membership organization for people 50 and older, to receive Alaska’s 2011 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, the Association’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award. The award symbolizes an individual’s power and ability to make a difference in the lives of others.
AARP Alaska selected Zastrow for his remarkable service and for the impact he’s had on the lives of others and on his community of Ketchikan . Zastrow is a non-stop, dedicated, hard-working, enthusiastic, vibrant leader who understands that the work of AARP can have a positive impact on people’s lives. He is constantly searching for ways to make his community and state a better place for all residents and he weaves the mission of AARP into the unparalleled volunteer work that he does.
Terry Miller, Managing Editor of the Ketchikan Daily News nominated Zastrow.
“For years, Ed Zastrow has been there for seniors in our community at every level,” Miller wrote. “He’s made AARP meetings in Ketchikan opportunities for the seniors of the community not only to learn about various programs and laws that will affect their lives; they’re also opportunities to question authorities and experts closely. From asking doctors about Medicare to asking the borough why there was no transportation to the community’s airport, on another island, seniors get the chance to ask questions and get answers.”
Zastrow has a long list of service to the community of Ketchikan and the state of Alaska. A former mayor as well as city council member, Zastrow served on the board for the State of Alaska’s Pioneer Home Advisory Board and the Alaska Commission on Aging. He is still active with the Pioneers of Alaska, Ketchikan Senior Services Site Council and serves on the board of the Ketchikan Pioneer Home Foundation. He also volunteers his time at First Lutheran Church of Ketchikan and is President of the local AARP Chapter. In 2010, the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce named Zastrow Citizen of the Year. As reported in the Ketchikan Daily News (1/25/2011), “Zastrow over the years has been a powerful force for the good of senior citizens.”
“This award acts as a symbol to members and all Alaskans that we can all work together for positive social change,” AARP Alaska state director Ken Osterkamp said. “AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions AARP volunteers make to their communities, neighbors, and the programs they serve. Ed is an incredible example of a volunteer who is truly engaged. He is respected and appreciated by AARP staff and other volunteers.”
Those who live in Ketchikan appreciate Zastrow as well. As Miller noted on the nomination form, “We’re lucky to have him.”
The AARP Andrus Award for Community Service recognizes members and volunteers who, through volunteer service, are significantly enhancing the lives of individuals age 50 and older. Recipients across the nation were 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.