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Golden age

December 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Community

Golden age

A vibrant AARP chapter celebrates 25 years in the Las Vegas community by carrying on its mission to empower


Samuel Wright, president of local AARP Chapter 4395.

While basking in the joy of friends, family and food during the holidays, we all become a little more mindful of how quickly time seems to pass.

Samuel Wright, president of the predominantly African-American AARP Chapter 4395 in Las Vegas, is keenly aware of the realities that come with the passage of time. The local organization he leads, founded in 1988, is marking its 25th year serving the city’s senior population.

As part of celebrating this milestone, the group will host its annual Christmas Holiday Party on Dec. 15 at Wellington Place (6985 West Sahara Ave.) from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Entertainment will include appearances by Antonio Fargas and legendary songstress Marlena Shaw.

The theme is “Real Grown Folks Party,” though some still balk when they first receive an American Association of Retired Persons membership card in the mail.

“Senior is a term that stretches from 50 years of age and beyond,” said Wright, owner of  Wright’s Paper Shredding Company. “I can relate to how people feel when they receive their AARP card in the mail when they turn 50. I really didn’t feel comfortable with it until I turned 55-years-old. One day I looked at the AARP Magazine, and was shocked to discover that many of the articles pertained to things going on in my personal life — such as coping with elderly parents. My job as chapter president revolves around bringing ideas, projects and activities to the organization’s senior membership that will help them become more independent. We want to help our members enjoy life socially, and our primary mission is, ‘To advocate for seniors in all aspects of their life and to enhance the quality of life that leads to positive social change bringing value, information, advocacy and service.’ My objective is to carry this mission out.”

According to Samesha Ramadan, AARP membership services representative and co-owner of M.R. Consulting, “Right now we are in the middle of a major membership drive, and there are still a lot of seniors that don’t know a lot about our chapter. We are doing things to bring seniors into AARP and help them deal with issues they face.”

One of the major issues of the day: understanding and taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

Samesha Ramadan

“It’s a question of age, because once you are 65 many are on Medicare,” explained Wright. “Once you are on Medicare, issues and concerns with the Affordable Care Act are not a problem unless for some reason you can’t be on Medicare. There are seniors who are not on Medicare for various reasons such as, if they don’t have health insurance from their employer and or run their own business. But the great thing about the Affordable Care Act is that you don’t have to go on a computer to register. There is a number for Nevada’s Health Link and there are people who can help you.”

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