The Lewis-Clark Post 13 of The American Legion celebrated the 98th birthday of The American Legion March 18 with its annual community service awards banquet. Six local members of law enforcement, first responders and education were honored for outstanding service to the Lewiston community.Leaders from community service organizations were invited guests to present awards to the nominees. Lt. Jeff Klone of the Lewiston Police Department presented the Policeman of the Year award to officer Richard Fuentes. Nez Perce County Sheriff Joe Rodriguez presented the Patrol Deputy of the Year to Patrick Dupea, and the Detention Deputy of the Year to Kael Brink. Lewiston Fire Chief Travis Myklebust presented Capt. Nate Metcalf with the Paramedic of the Year award, followed by presentation of the Firefighter of the Year award to Zach Evangelho. Camelot Elementary School Principal Karla Carper presented the Educator of the Year award to fifth-grade teacher Jennie Myers.
Post Commander Joe Tanner presented the Legionnaire of the Year award to John Stevenson, recognizing his support for American Legion youth programs locally and at the state level. Several Department of Idaho Legion dignitaries were in attendance, headed by Robert Skinner, current State Commander of the Idaho American Legion.
State Veterans Service Officer Bob Cooper served as master of ceremonies for the event. In prepared remarks, Stevenson reflected on the mission and purpose of the Legion to support veterans and serve youth through its programs, particularly Legion baseball and the annual Gem Boys State and Syringa Girls State programs. Stevenson read the recently passed Idaho Legislature Concurrent Resolution recognizing the American Legion Family Youth Programs as indication of the importance of these programs statewide. Lewiston High School seniors Will Wilson and Jenifer Kobelt were recognized as excellent examples of young men and women impacted by these programs.