AARP Arizona is certainly aware of that image. But AARP also is aware that the traditional view of retirement is no longer what it was when the organization was founded in California in 1958 as the American Association of Retired Persons. In fact, that four-word descriptor is no longer used.
Instead, just the alpha identifier – A-A-R-P – is used, and the R-P is defined as “real possibilities.”
Shawn Trobia, AARP associate state director of community outreach, is headquartered in Prescott. She told QCBN that Prescott and Prescott Valley have some of the most
“…active and aggressive experiences for members of any region in the country.”
Prescott and adjacent communities also happen to be home for well over half the AARP members in Yavapai County – 25,000 of 40,000 countywide. Arizona is home for an estimated 912,000 members. Trobia emphasized that people no longer need to be retired or meet age restrictions to be AARP members.
Membership is approaching 39 million nationally
“What’s interesting,” she said, “is that AARP’s state leadership has selected Prescott and Yavapai County as a ‘focus area’ in the state. The other two focus areas are Maricopa and Pima counties.” In all, 10 paid AARP staff members, led by a state director, administer programs throughout the Arizona.
Trobia has been with AARP since November of 2011. Previously, she was a program specialist for the Arizona Governor’s Council on Aging and Office on Aging. The Nebraska native has been in Arizona since childhood.
Her job duties reach far beyond Prescott and Yavapai County. She is responsible for outreach and programming coordination for all of Central and Northern Arizona – from north of Phoenix to the Utah border, and from the eastern to the western border. The seven counties comprise more than half the land mass of the state.
Trobia, also a board member for the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, stresses, “My major efforts are concentrated in this area. I’m fortunate in having 30 excellent volunteers who are active in Quad Cities communities. Because we have such a strong organization locally, we can execute an exciting program of activities, which are open not only to members but also the public.”
Opportunities for AARP Activities
Programs and activities are diverse. A comprehensive and current list of planned activities for the area is regularly updated on two websites: aarp.org/prescott; and aarp.org/prescott valley. Of course, because of ongoing concern about the coronavirus pandemic, times and dates are subject to change. Even so, those interested may check either website for details.
For instance, in early April, AARP is hosting a free multi-day experience at Pralines of Prescott, a popular candy manufacturer. Guides from Pralines will help participants make their own chocolate creations from 2 to 4 p.m., Monday April 6; and again on Tuesday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 4 p.m. Those interested do need to pre-register for the activity at 3250 Gateway Blvd, Suite 424, at the Prescott Gateway Mall.
Another event allows individuals who want to protect themselves against identify theft and have boxes of unwanted documents they’d like to shred to have that opportunity at free on-site commercial shredder trucks. From 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, May 20, The Town of Chino Valley and AARP are cooperating to bring a shredding truck to the Aquatic Center, 1615 N. Road 1 East.
“The last time we did this, people shredded more than 8,000 pounds of paper. That’s four tons,” Trobia said.
In yet another event, those interested may join friends for an AARP Free Coffee from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, April 30. AARP will be the host at the Firehouse Coffee Company located on Gurley Street across from the Courthouse Plaza.
A popular activity sponsored by the local AARP organization is the free afternoon “Movies for Grownups” every month at the Harkins Theater in Prescott Valley. Names of films, times and dates for viewing are posted on the local AARP website.
Beyond just social or activity-oriented programs, AARP Arizona has resources for providing help to family caregivers. It also provides IRS-certified free tax assistance from the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the biggest volunteer program of its kind in the nation. This program is open to anyone, young or old, AARP member or not.
“We welcome the opportunity to meet with any group or individual to discuss the education, advocacy and service opportunities AARP provides. What we continually emphasize in our presentations is that AARP is a non-partisan, non-political national organization that sponsors and supports significant programs with impact. Our veteran support groups, our family caregiver counselors, programs to review financial security, community service – all these things help us make the Quad Cities area and Yavapai County a wonderful place to live.” QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
For more details, contact Shawn Trobia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-273-7601.