12/28/11 — Peggy Seegars honored for work helping seniors

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Peggy Seegars honored for work helping seniors

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on December 28, 2011 1:46 PM

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Peggy Seegars talks about her work for North Carolina's senior citizens. Mrs. Seegars received the 2011 Sharon Wilder Award, Eastern Carolina Council's Area Agency on Aging Leadership Award and the Woodmen of the World 1319 Caring for Others Award.

Three recent awards have cemented Peggy Seegars' legacy as a champion advocate for Wayne County's and North Carolina's senior citizen population.

The Sharon Wilder Award was presented to the 86-year-old Mrs. Seegars by Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care. This award, which goes to a person in North Carolina who is dedicated to improving long-term care, was presented at a Step Up Gala in Raleigh in November.

Then, earlier this month, Mrs. Seegars received the Eastern Carolina Council Area Agency on Aging Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in advocating for older Americans this month in New Bern.

Her nomination form explained that "Peggy has served as the senior Tar Heel legislator since the inception of the group in 1994." The purpose of the Tar Heel Legislature is to provide information and education to senior adults on the legislative process and matters being considered by the North Carolina General Assembly, and to assess the legislative needs of older adults by convening a forum modeled after the state's General Assembly.

To help her advise lawmakers on both the local and state levels of the priority issues for older adults, Mrs. Seegars makes regular visits to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior centers.

Her nomination form states that Mrs. Seegars "has been the driving force for a new bill introduced into the General Assembly to mandate drug testing for nursing home staff."

Mrs. Seegars also this month received the Woodmen of the World Caring for Others Award from chapter 1319.

John Chance, who nominated Mrs. Seegars for the award, said the honor is presented annually to someone who is strives to do good in his or her community.

"I nominated Peggy for the work she does in the nursing home and with senior legislation," said Chance, director of the Wayne Opportunity Center. "Over the years, this award has gone to different people for different things, folks who do a lot in their neighborhood. I don't know anybody who does anymore then Peggy does and who tries to make living conditions as good as they can be in rest homes."

"I'm interested in the elderly people," Mrs. Seegars said. "I work in region P out of New Bern. There are nine counties in this region. We meet in Raleigh three times a year with everyone in the state, all 100 counties, and three times a year in New Bern with the nine counties."

And while she is happy to receive the accolades, the real reward for Mrs. Seegars is the satisfaction of knowing that she's helping elderly people.

"It's given me an outlet rather than sitting home reading a book," she said.