Aarp Wants To Form Chapter In Payson

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AARP Arizona wants to determine the level of interest in forming a group of volunteers in the Payson area.

If you are 50 or older and would enjoy nonpartisan volunteer service and advocacy on behalf of seniors, come to a meeting from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, April 2, at the Senior Circle meeting room, 215 N. Beeline Highway.

For more information, call local representative Ginny Creager at (928) 474-8936.

AARP has already done work in the Payson area. In 2006, the advocacy group offered a special program to educate senior citizens about the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

Several presentations on the program were offered in the area with former AARP Arizona State President Ritch Steven.

Another highly public program of AARP in Payson is its tax preparation assistance, which is currently being offered.

"This service is offered at no charge and we have some really wonderful volunteers with a real aptitude for understanding the IRS rules," Creager said.

AARP Tax-Aide is administered through the AARP Foundation in cooperation with the IRS. The free service is provided to low-to-moderate income taxpayers, with special attention to those aged 60 and older. It is available through April 17 at the following locations and times:

Payson Elks Lodge, at the intersection of Airport Road and Beeline Highway:

  • Mondays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Gila Community College, Mud Springs Road:

  • Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

When you come, please bring with you:

  • A picture ID
  • Social Security card for all persons claimed on your return
  • Last year's (2005) tax return
  • Your 2006 tax documents

An appointment is not necessary. However, if you would like information or need an appointment, you may call Joan Stephens at (928) 472-6229.

AARP also participated in the Women's Wellness Forum at Payson High School March 24.

Creager is the voice of Rim Country seniors with AARP. She is a member of Arizona's executive council for AARP.

"Nationally, AARP has more than 35 million members," Creager said. "Arizona has 785,000 of them and has the first AARP chapter organized. It was in Youngtown."

In addition to the educational presentations on the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, Arizona's AARP members stayed very busy during the 2006 legislative session, lobbying for a number of things, Creager said. "We had a very busy season. We were able to get $6.3 million for home- and community-based services, which help seniors stay in their homes rather than going into assisted-living facilities.

"We also secured $1.5 million for Adult Protective Services to add staff. They have not added anyone since about 1999. With more staff, it will have the capacity to investigate 100 percent of the complaints (it receives)."

One of AARP's bigger accomplishments with the Legislature was the defeat of six different "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" (TABOR) initiatives, Creager said.

She said the group partnered with numerous organizations to achieve the successes it had with legislators during the 2006 session.

AARP has also partnered with the Arizona Attorney General to combat identity theft, prevent fraud and assist with other consumer issues facing the state's older residents.

Creager can be contacted between 8 and 9:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and evenings at (928) 474-8936, or by e-mail at drvcreager@aol.com.

For additional information, call (866) 389-5649, (888) 687-2277 or (602) 262-5180. Information is also available online at www.aarp.org/az.

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