BROKEN BOW — Deb McCaslin’s invitation got lost in the mail.
So when someone called in the spring to ask what her meal preference was for the Nebraska First Lady’s Outstanding Community Service Awards luncheon, she didn’t think the caller had reached the right person. Then McCaslin was told she was being honored for Lifetime Achievement in Volunteer Service — and no, it wasn’t a mistake. She was speechless.
The same thing happened recently when McCaslin learned she would be receiving AARP Nebraska’s highest volunteer award, the Andrus Award for Community Service.
She is the 13th person to receive it since it began, and it came with a $2,500 check for one of her causes, TeamMates of Broken Bow.
“It’s just awfully nice,” McCaslin said. “I think it’s more a testament to the community and the people I work with.”
She is quick to give the credit to others, but McCaslin said the reason she strives to be invested in so many causes is the people the causes serve.
McCaslin said working with TeamMates is one of the most rewarding things she has done.
McCaslin is the president of that board in Broken Bow as well, and she helped start it just last year. McCaslin’s sister, Penny Ashenfelter, nominated her for the AARP award.
“She is so enthusiastic,” Ashenfelter said. “She walks in and she says ‘This is just the greatest thing,’ and everybody feels like it is the greatest thing.”
The $2,500 reward will go a long way, said Ashenfelter, who also works with TeamMates.
While McCaslin is thrilled about the money, she said what she’s doing isn’t that unique.
There are a multitude of people she could have listed that are as involved, if not more so. It’s just what people in Broken Bow, and Nebraskans in general, do.
“You pretty much do what you want to do, and you do what you can do,” McCaslin said.
And that inspires her.