Advocates from Reed City, Troy recognized for valuable contributions to seniors

James Forrer receives a donation for his charity, Helping Angels, from Bridget Hurd, director of Community Responsibility at BCBSM.

Larry Emig of Reed City and James Forrer of Troy were recognized Wednesday at Older Michiganian’s Day at the State Capitol in Lansing for their dedication to improving the lives of the elderly. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Senior Advisory Council honored the outstanding senior citizen advocates with the Claude Pepper Award, named after the late U.S. Congressman who championed senior citizens’ rights.

BCBSM has given the Claude Pepper Award annually since 1980. Recipients demonstrate a strong concern for the special needs of the elderly, and their actions profoundly impact older adults, particularly individuals who do not receive adequate health services due to mental, physical, financial or geographical limitations.

Emig, 66, has served on the Osceola Commission on Aging Advisory Board for more than 26 years, helping oversee in-home care, transportation and nutrition services for hundreds of seniors in Osceola County. The former mayor of Reed City has served in leadership roles for several organizations at the local, regional and state levels, including a recent appointment by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Michigan Commission of Juvenile Justice. He has also served on the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan’s Board of Directors since 2006, helping oversee the agency and services to over 38,000 seniors in a nine-county region. 

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