Jan Melcher to receive AARP Oregon Andrus Award, described as the organization's 'highest honor'

FILE PHOTO - Jan Melcher carries bags filled with food for Meals on Wheels recipients in Estacada. Melcher recently recieved the AARP Oregon Andrus Award for Community Service for her efforts.

An Estacada volunteer is being recognized by a national organization for her efforts.

Jan Melcher, who can often be found lending a hand at the Estacada Community Center, has won the AARP Oregon Andrus Award for Community Service. The award will be presented to Melcher during a reception at the Community Center within the next few months.

Described as "AARP's highest honor," the Andrus Award "recognizes individuals who are sharing their experience, talent and skills in ways that significantly enrich the lives of others," according to a description on the organization's website.

Each year, one individual in each state is recognized with the award, which is named after AARP's founder, Ethel Percy Andrus.

"She helped to change the very image of aging, focusing on zestfulness, lifelong learning, purpose and service to others," AARP's website reads. "Dr. Andrus demonstrated that one person can make a significant difference in the lives of others. She also demonstrated that, together, an 'army of useful citizens' can do what no one person can do alone."

In addition to volunteering for the Estacada Community Center's Meals on Wheels program for nearly a decade, Melcher has served on the organization's board of directors and as a meal planner and cook for the Wednesday breakfasts and Saturday dinner dances. Outside of the Community Center, she volunteers at the Eagle Creek Grange, where she is a member of the executive committee and cooks and serves during several events.

Melcher said she was "totally shocked" when she found out she had received the award.

"My feet are still off the ground a little," she said. "It's pretty cool."

Earlier this year, Melcher was also recognized as the Pamplin Media Group's extraordinary citizen in Estacada for her volunteer work.

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