94-year-old Thermopolis woman honored with Andrus Award

Thermopolis’ Kay Bjorklund was honored with AARP Wyoming’s Andrus Award Thursday evening in Casper as AARP’s Volunteer Awards Recognition Dinner.

US Senator John Barrasso, MD, and his wife, Bobbi joined the awards presentation. Bobbi has lived in Thermopolis and reported Bjorklund delivers Meals on Wheels to her parents. Senator Barasso honored Bjorklund by reading aloud the entry he plans to make into the Congressional Record, upon the Senate’s reconvening this week.

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The Andrus Award named after AARP founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, recognizes individuals who are sharing their experience, talent, and skills to enrich their communities in ways that are consistent with AARP’s mission, vision, and commitment to volunteer service.

Only one volunteer per state (or couple performing service together) can receive the award each year. The award winner is required to be at least 50 years old, and the achievements, accomplishments, or service on which the nomination is based must reflect AARP’s vision and mission.

When the rules committee was making up those rules, it almost seems they had Kay Bjorklund of Thermopolis in mind. Kay will turn 95 years old this month and remains a Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, welcoming news businesses to Thermopolis, as well as program director for her Kiwanis Club, lining up speakers for the club’s twice-monthly meetings.

One week a month you can find Kay delivering Meals on Wheels to Thermopolis residents. Each weekend she is acting activities director for The Pioneer Home, where she lines up Wii Bowling tournaments and shuffleboard. Kay would also mention she carries a 231 average on Wii bowling.

Kay has long been known for her candy-selling prowess, as she sold $2,500 in See’s Candy this year for her Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) chapter, more than double the next highest seller. If that isn’t enough, she also volunteers one day a week in the gift shop of the hospital in Thermopolis, and works with the doorstep ministry of her church.

Just to show you she has no plans to slow down anytime soon, it should be known that she ‘recently put a new set of snow tires on her truck.

Kay and her husband ran the JC Penny and Coast-to-Coast stores in Thermopolis and Douglas before retiring. She has three children and a number of family who are here tonight to celebrate in Kay’s Andrus Award.

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