LOS ANGELES – Tyler Perry will receive an honorary AARP award for uplifting communities and helping people “overcome various obstacles” through his foundation.
The organization announced Thursday that Perry will receive the honorary AARP Purpose Prize award during a live ceremony on Oct. 25. The famed filmmaker-actor- philanthropist will be recognized for his work through The Perry Foundation.
Perry’s foundation – which launched in 2006 – has focused on aiding several initiatives such as education, health, human rights, technology and global sustainability. Some of his charitable efforts include building a home for a great-grandmother of seven who lost everything in a fire; surprising kids with a trip to Disney World; and holding a camp quarantine at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.
Five individuals will be awarded the AARP Purpose Prize, which honors people ages 50 and older who are making a difference through their “knowledge and life experience.” The recipients include Zerqa Abid of Columbus, Ohio, whose MY Project USA empowers youth to become productive citizens and strong community leaders in the U.S.; Jamesetta Ferguson of Louisville, Kentucky, whose Molo Village CDC takes a holistic approach toward community development; Sharron Rush of Austin, Texas, whose Knowbility creates an inclusive digital world for people with disabilities; Bill Toone of Escondido, California, whose ECOLIFE Conservation aims to protect wildlife, natural resources and the people who depend on them; and Imani Woody of Washington, D.C., whose Mary’s House for Older Adults creates affordable and communal housing.
AARP said 10 previously named Purpose Prize fellows will also be honored. Each of them will receive a $10,000 award to further the mission of their organization.
AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins said the recipients “deserve all of the praise and recognition we have to offer for their exemplary work."
“We celebrate these inspiring individuals, who have used their decades of life experience to give back in a meaningful way, to be leaders in their communities, and to create a better future for us all,” Jenkins said.
AARP also announced the return of its Inspire Award for a second year. The general public can vote for the AARP Purpose Prize winner they want to win the award, which grants the recipient an additional $10,000 for their organization.