The Clewiston News

AAASWFL volunteer earns statewide recognition

Mary Bartoshuk has been known for years for her tireless volunteer work across Hendry County and Southwest Florida. Now, Ms. Bartoshuk has earned statewide recognition from two powerhouse organizations in Florida’s elder community. At the annual Florida Conference on Aging, which took place in August in Tampa, Ms. Bartoshuk earned awards from the Florida Council on Aging and AARP.

She was nominated for both awards by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL), where she serves on the agency’s volunteer Advisory Council.

On Aug. 14, Ms. Bartoshuk was honored with a Quality Senior Living Award in the area of public service. The award, presented annually by the Florida Council on Aging and FPL, is one of the most prestigious awards in Florida’s professional aging network. It honors an individual or organization that makes outstanding contributions to improve the quality of life for Florida’s older adults.

Special to The Clewiston News/Courtesy photo
Left to right are Donna Ginn, AARP Florida president; Mary Bartoshuk; Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida state director; and Donna Polite, AARP Florida manager of state operations.

“We nominated Mary because of her boundless energy and enthusiasm for serving our region’s elders,” explains Marianne Lorini, president and CEO of AAASWFL. “Every day she improves the quality of life for seniors in Southwest Florida. If ever there was a real-life superwoman, it is most definitely Mary.”

The following day, Ms. Bartoshuk earned the Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus Community Trailblazer Award, presented by AARP. This one-time award in recognition of AARP’s 60th anniversary was presented to six recipients from AARP’s six regions in the state. Ms. Bartoshuk was selected as winner for Florida’s Coast to Coast region, which represents 14 counties.

“This award will never be given again, so this is an esteemed group of honorees,” said Donna Ginn, state president of AARP Florida and award presenter. “This award celebrates and recognizes individuals … who demonstrate real vision. They are respected by their peers, are dedicated to their communities, do extraordinary work and have found innovative and sustainable solutions to the issues in the areas where they volunteer.”

Ms. Bartoshuk resides in LaBelle. She has been a member of the AAASWFL advisory council for eight years and also trained as a volunteer for the agency’s health and wellness programs.

The Quality Senior Living Awards also recognized another group of honorees from Southwest Florida. Glades County public schools earned an award for service to seniors by an organization. The school district was nominated by Hope Connections, which partners with Glades County students to distribute food to low-income seniors.

The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is a nonprofit organization serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota counties. The agency is committed to connecting older adults and adults with disabilities to resources and assistance for living safely with independence and dignity. AAASWFL is the state’s designated Aging and Disability Resource Center for Southwest Florida.

More information about the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is available at www.aaaswfl.org or by calling the toll-free Helpline at 866-413-5337 (866-41-ELDER).