And for all that and more, Laura was one of only 60 individuals statewide chosen recently for the Lieutenant Governor's Senior Service Award as a Missouri Senior Advocate.

There isn't a friend Laura Edwards hasn't met.

Though she's quick to note that despite her outgoing personality and penchant for making friends, she isn't afraid to speak her mind. And while that may have ruffled some feathers over the years, she also understands the importance of mending fences.

Laura is a senior citizen volunteer, which melds perfectly with her ability to make friends quickly and make peace when necessary. Her first love is the Senior Activity Center on D Road in Osage Beach, a hangout for senior citizens that offers activities, exercise classes, a library and a popular monthly spaghetti supper. The SAC remains an all-volunteer center in its 29th year, and Edwards is there almost every day in some capacity.

Edwards has been active for 14 years volunteering with AARP tax preparation. She also has served as a Deacon, Elder, Sunday School teacher and choir member at Lake Presbyterian Church in Osage Beach. She is a member of the Camden County Republican Club.

She and her late husband, Dan, moved to the lake when they retired in 1995. Shortly thereafter, she began attending twice-monthly Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen meetings which evolved into Citizens Supporting Progress, a group of 20 residents providing guidance to the aldermen.

She's a cheerleader for the city of Lake Ozark and often offers an encouraging word. But, once again, she's not afraid to scold the board and administration at meetings if she thinks they're making decisions that aren't in the best interests of her community.

And for all that and more, Laura was one of only 60 individuals statewide chosen recently for the Lieutenant Governor's Senior Service Award as a Missouri Senior Advocate.

She and other honorees recently gathered at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City for lunch and then a special recognition ceremony led by Lt. Gov. Mike Parsons. More than 150 individuals were nominated, with less than half actually chosen.

State Rep. Rocky Miller nominated Mrs. Edwards.

In his remarks, Lieutenant Governor Parsons referred to the group as a "class of wisdom."

"Being a senior in Missouri for all of you who received the award is an honor," Parsons said. "I'm humbled to be able to present you this award. I just want to say thank you for what you do for the people around the state."

"It's one of my highest honors to recognize our seniors who positively impact their communities through service and volunteering," Parsons said in a letter to the honorees. "Hundreds of outstanding seniors have been honored since this award was instituted in 2005."

Edwards said she appreciates Lieutenant Governor Parsons and Representative Miller for their planning and support, but said the recognition should go to the groups and others in the community who have helped the lake grow into what it is today.

"It takes a village working together," Edwards said. "I'm so honored to have been just a little part of it. We all are here because we love the lake and we enjoy working with people."