Chapman new AARP president

Beverly Chapman took over as president of AARP in January, mostly out of necessity not out of interest.

She said she's not one of the most active members but was urged by others to lead the group.

"I've done this for other organizations," Chapman said. "But it's a learning process right now."

She was president of Business and Professional Women twice, in the 1980s and 1990s. Now she's getting a handle on AARP's policies and collecting information to share with the group each month.

The organization was known as the American Association of Retired Persons. In 1998, the board of directors changed the name to AARP.

Other officers in the club are Vice President Bob Grubb, Secretary Beulah Kline and Treasurer George Swanson.

Chapman said the local chapter has about 25 members, who also have to be a part of the national organization. National dues are $12.50 a year, and Craig's chapter asks for $1 a year. Seniors older than 50 are eligible to be a part of the volunteer-based organization.

"To serve, not to be served, is what we try to do," Chapman said.

AARP members often take dinner to the assisted-living centers and donate money to projects benefiting seniors.

At their monthly meetings, which are at 2 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month at Sunset Meadows I, 633 Ledford St., Chapman presents information on current legislation and programs available to seniors. Guest speakers also come to meetings, but not all presentations are strictly informative.

"Some of the programs are just fun," Chapman said of groups such as Sunset Elementary School students who sing for the group.

During her one-year term as president, Chapman hopes to get more members active and seniors involved, because joining has benefits.

"It helps you stay up on government things that may affect our lives," she said. "It gives them socialization and interaction with other people their own age."

In April, 55 Alive, a mature driving class, is being offered and Chapman recommends it because it can lower car-insurance rates.

For more information on 55 Alive, Senior Day at the Capitol or the local AARP chapter, call Chapman at 824-5123. For more information on the national organization, visit www.aarp.org.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.