A few weeks ago some of Rev. Art Forbes family and friends gathered in Bloomington to wish him a Happy 80th Birthday. My friend Art came to the Inland Empire in the mid sixties as an executive with Kaiser Steel to communicate the interests of Kaiser to make the community a better place to live. I want to share a little information about Art. He left Kaiser Steel in 1970 to join the Kaiser Foundation Health Care Family better known as Kaiser Hospital and Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Fontana.
He was chairman of the board for Operation Second Chance and helped start Black Fathers, which was born out of a racial conflict with students in the San Bernardino Unified School District. He was board chair for Inland Area Urban League, served on the United Way Board of Directors, helped organize Inland Churches for Community Action and was administrator and founder of two community health centers: Comprehensive Health Care Program (CHSP) at Kaiser Permanente Medical Care in Fontana and Inland Empire Community Health Center in Bloomington, now operating as Community Health Systems Inc. with its corporate office located in Moreno Valley.
He met frequently with Inland Action Group whose membership included all of the business decision makers in the two counties of San Bernardino and Riverside and the other community-supporting cast, the United Way. I use the term supporting cast because the United Way Board was comprised of local doctors, lawyers, chiefs of police and small business owners, executives from medium size companies and government administrators. They helped raise money from the community businesses through employee payroll deductions and then allocated it out to organizations like the Red Cross, Boys and Girls Scouts and other non-profit organizations.
Out of all the things he has done to make our communities a better place for us to live, he is most thankful and grateful for his family – Gertherine, his wife of over sixty years, his children, and his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It was nice to wish him another happy birthday but it was great to share what he has done for our community with his family and friends. Many were things that they did not know about him. I hope he enjoyed it as much as the people who gathered to show him some LOVE.