Former state Rep. Gene Caldwell earned $1,000 as one of three finalists for an AARP community service award, and he donated the money to the Emory Valley Center, a press release said.
The money will be used to help replace an Emory Valley Center building that will be demolished, the press release said. The center is raising money to replace the 55-year-old building, which serves intellectually and developmentally disabled children and adults in East Tennessee, and Caldwell is co-chairing the capital campaign.
Caldwell was one of three finalists for the 2012 AARP Tennessee Andrus Award for Community Service, which earned him $1,000 for the charity of his choice, the press release said.
“This is about leaving a legacy for our most vulnerable citizens, many of whom were my patients,” said Caldwell, who is also a retired pediatrician. “To see them find identities, friendships, and meaningful work changes their outlook and behavior—and it lifts a tremendous burden from the hearts of their parents.”
Tennessee Rep. John Ragan, an Oak Ridge Republican, nominated Caldwell for the award, saying he “has been a tireless advocate for children, seniors and the disabled, and has contributed immeasurably to his community.”
Emory Valley Center President Jennifer Enderson said the AARP recognition was well-deserved.
“Emory Valley Center is so thankful for all that Dr. Caldwell has done on behalf of the center,” she said. “He is truly amazing.”
The press release said this is the second year that AARP has given money to charities chosen by the top three Andrus award finalists. Caldwell was among more than 30 people from across the state nominated for the award.
“As someone who has known Dr. Caldwell for years and has seen the work he has done for his community and this state, it was an honor to recognize him for his commitment and passion for helping others,” said AARP Tennessee Communications Director Karin Miller, who presented the check on Friday.
Anyone wishing to donate to the EVC Capital Campaign may mail a contribution to P.O. Box 5328, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, or go online to www.emoryvalleycenter.com.