St. John AARP Chapter 4777 members gathered on Hawksnest Beach on Thursday afternoon, December 17, for a reception to honor one of their own.
The group chose Beverly Biziewski as the chapter’s 2009 member of the year for all of her hard work and dedication, explained St. John AARP president Martha Bruce.
“I’m the president this year by default,” said Bruce. “Joan Birmingham was the president and I was the VP, but then Joan left for the states in September and I took over.”
“There were a lot of things I didn’t know when Joan left, and Bev was the one who helped with emails, phone calls and just everything,” Bruce said.
Biziewski has been a chapter member for years and served as president of the group several times. Through the local AARP chapter, Biziewski relishes the opportunity to give back to the community.
“I like all that AARP stands for,” said Biziewski. “I like that they’re appreciative of what you do and I like the volunteering. We try to be a part of a lot of events and support our members and the community.”
As anyone who has attended a St. John AARP meeting knows, Biziewski keeps the time moving quickly with her humor and wit.
“I always say it’s better to have a light meeting and keep people entertained while you get things done than to have a boring meeting that drives people away,” said Biziewski. “We try to have meaningful, but entertaining meetings.”
While the local chapters on each island honor one member yearly, AARP’s Virgin Islands Executive Council also distinguishes one of its members.
This year Sally Browne was honored with the AARP State President Award for exceptional service to the organization. Browne accepted the award at the St. Thomas AARP Chapter awards ceremony on Saturday, December 12, at Victor’s Hideout
The award was launched in the early 2000s to allow the state executive council to honor one local member, explained Browne.
“Sam Morch was the State President then and he felt that at the state level, an award should be given by the executive council each year to one member for exceptional service,” Browne said.
Accepting the award put Browne at an unusual loss for words.
“I was absolutely speechless,” she said about being honored with the AARP State President Award. “It was such a great honor.”