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AARP celebrates 20 years in Waynesboro

November 03, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Dr. Ethel Brindle, who turned 100 this spring, was given a standing ovation Monday by more than 200 members of the Waynesboro South Chapter No. 2977, American Association of Retired Persons, an organization she helped create 20 years ago.

Brindle was escorted to the podium by Marilyn McCarney, president of the 800-member AARP chapter, one of two in Waynesboro. The North chapter, organized earlier, has fewer members, McCarney said.

The South chapter held its first meeting on April 4, 1947, brought together by a steering committee headed by Brindle.

"She laid the foundation for the AARP organization locally," McCarney said. Brindle said she wished the chapter continued success.

Also recognized Monday was Evelyn Heefner, 88, who with her husband, Wilson Heefner, now deceased, were among the first officers of the newly formed chapter. Wilson Heefner was its first president and his wife the first secretary.


A little slower making it to the podium than Brindle, Heefner spoke longer. She said she was proud to have been one of the organizers of the chapter.

"I never dreamed it would end up like this. I see so many faces out there that I know," she said.

Heefner moved to California to live with her son, McCarney said. She moved back last week to live with her sister because she missed Waynesboro, McCarney said.

"I'm not the person I was when I left. My health is not as good, but I'm still the same Evelyn Heefner and I'm ready to do what I can for the organization." Connie Kinley, active since the chapter started, was honored for her work as tour director since 1978.

A month after its first meeting, the South chapter had 115 members. By the next month it had 253 members, according to the chapter's history. As of September of this year, 82 charter members still belonged, McCarney said.

McCarney retired after 34 years of teaching, including seven in Franklin County and 27 in Washington County.

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