Darrow residents Natalie and Alfred Mason have been shortlisted to receive the 2021 Andrus Award for Community Service – the AARP’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award for community service.
AARP Louisiana selected the Masons for their generous service that has greatly benefited their community, supported the vision and mission of AARP, and inspired other volunteers. They admit, after their church and family, “AARP is number two,” which illustrates their dedication.
The Masons are originally from New Orleans, but moved to Darrow after Hurricane Katrina in 2006, sparking their involvement with AARP to serve the elderly.
Along with several neighbors who had also been uprooted from Katrina and lived in Darrow, they started AARP Chapter 1449 in Gonzales. Natalie became the first president with Alfred as legislative president. Alfred succeeded Natalie as president and completed her second term in 2020. Over the years, Masons have increased the popularity of the Gonzales Chapter so much that they have a waiting list.
âThey are 81 and 80 years old and are still very active and they love AARP,â says Valerie Prier, the mason’s eldest daughter. “They still inspire me, 20 years after their retirement.”
In addition to their work with their local AARP chapter, they are also a staple of the AARP Louisiana State Office, serving in almost any capacity to support the team.
Both are trained as presenters at the Speakers Bureau, offering care and fraud prevention workshops at libraries in the greater Baton Rouge area. They also volunteer with the AARP Fraud Watch Network Hotline, helping callers answer their questions and concerns about fraud and scams. Masons are also advocates for the AARP, helping to fight for adults 50 and older for the state legislature.
âI am honored to recognize Natalie and Alfred Mason as recipients of the 2021 Andrus AARP Louisiana Award,â said Bobby Savoie, President of the State of Louisiana AARP. âIn keeping with Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus’ legacy of service, Masons have demonstrated leadership, service, passion, and a vision to change lives through their positive attitude. “
AARP Louisiana will donate $ 1,000 on behalf of Natalie and Alfred Mason to the Arc of East Ascension. Arc’s mission is to promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and to support their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lives.
Recipients across the country were chosen for their ability to improve the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve the community in or for which the work has been done, and inspire others to volunteer.
For media inquiries, please contact LaTonya Scott Smith at [email protected] or (225) 252-1192.