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Encore role models: The metro's “over 70”

As the saying goes, “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” Recognition programs and prizes are a time-tested way to change perceptions of aging and highlight the contributions of inspiring older adults from the Kansas City metro area.

Longstanding encore leader the Shepherd’s Center in Kansas City, Kansas celebrates purposeful aging with their new 70 Over 70 Awards, recognizing people age 70 to 97 who are making a difference.

Selected from more than 150 nominations, the 70 diverse honorees inspire others with their purposeful lives. Two of those honorees, Beryl and Milt Magle, both age 75, are dedicated to service at the Johnson County North Central Multi-Service Center food pantry. They can be counted on to show up for their shifts, even in the worst weather. Their service to Johnson County spans 11 years. More about their story is available online.

The honorees were celebrated at an award luncheon on Oct. 30 where keynote speakers Joan Ruff, AARP National Board chair, and Paul Tasner, a senior entrepreneur disrupting the paper industry, highlighted the immeasurable value of experience.

As the award announcement says: It’s about time. Time we acknowledge their contributions. Past. Present. Future. Time we acknowledge that perceptions of age don’t align with reality. Time we stand together as a city. And declare ageism over.