Billie Jean Dougherty Gets AARP's 2012 Andrus State Award for Community Service

Billie Jean Dougherty of Ward on Thursday received AARP's 2012 Andrus State Award for Community Service at the nonprofit's annual Andrus Award and Volunteer Appreciation Gala at Crystal Bridges Museum of Modern American Art in Bentonville.

Also Thursday, AARP awarded its Arkansas Distinguished Service Award to Leroy Williams of Helena-West Helena.  

AARP says the Andrus Award is its most prestigious volunteer award for community service. It is named for founder Ethel Percy Andrus. 

"Billie Dougherty is one of our most long-serving, dedicated and active volunteer leaders," Maria Reynolds-Diaz, AARP Arkansas' state director, said. "Well-versed on the issues and an excellent spokesperson, Billie is a constant presence at the state Capitol in Little Rock during legislative sessions and has been to Washington D.C., to advocate on federal issues."

Dougherty joined AARP as a volunteer in 1995 and served as coordinator of its Capitol City Task Force, managing advocacy volunteers before the opening of the state office. She received AARP Arkansas' 2011 Distinguished Service Award, was among the 2011 inductees into the Senior Arkansans Hall of Fame and also has served as co-advocacy lead for AARP Arkansas' North Arkansas area.

Williams is co-leader of AARP Arkansas' Delta area and is a member of the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association. Williams was also a member of the Silver Haired Legislature, vice president of the Congress of Christian Education and vice president of the Lee, Monroe, Desha and Phillips Counties District Association.