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Grangeville American Legion Post 37 celebrates 99th birthday

Organizational News

(L-R) Commander Morris Bentley is shown with Keuterville Pub and Grub’s Linda Elliott and Dewey Elliott and 1st Vice Commander Roy Lombardo.

(L-R) Commander Morris Bentley is shown with Keuterville Pub and Grub’s Linda Elliott and Dewey Elliott and 1st Vice Commander Roy Lombardo.

— On Saturday, March 24, Grangeville American Legion Post 37 celebrated the 99th birthday of the American Legion with the annual birthday and community awards party. The event was held at the Idaho County Veterans Outreach and Community Center and attended by approximately 60 veterans, their families and community awardees and their families.


Les Schwab Manager Manny Melendez receives appreciation award from Commander Morris Bentley and historian Katrina Bentley.

Post commander Morris Bentley gave the keynote speech outlining the history and contributions made by the American Legion in the last 99 years. He was awarded his 50th year of service certificate from the National American Legion Commander by his son, Rob Bentley. Connie Workman, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel nurse who served in Vietnam, received the post’s Legionnaire of the Year Award. She is an active member of the post supporting programs and events in her office as chaplain. She serves on the Honor Guard by playing the bugle.

Community businesses recognized for long-term support of the American Legion included: Asker’s Harvest Foods, Les Schwab Tire Center and Keuterville Pub and Grub. Melinda Hall of KORT Radio was recognized for lifelong service to veterans and the Grangeville community. Teachers of the Year for 2018 were Carla Astle who teaches K-5 grade music at Grangeville Elementary Middle School, and Janet Johnston, who teaches foods/teen living and housing at the Grangeville High School. Nathan Winder from Syringa Hospital and Clinics was chosen for medical provider of the year. He works both in Grangeville and Kooskia clinics as a physician’s assistant. He frequently serves veterans in the Grangeville VA Clinic. The Idaho County Deputy of the Year was Mike Chlebowski. He has been a patrol deputy in Idaho County for more than 13 years. He is a proud Marine serving from 1990-1996. He works with his canine partner “Nation.” The EMT of the Year is Bob Helena, advanced EMT for more than 35 years. Danny Tackett received the firefighter of the year award recognizing more than 30 years of outstanding service to the Grangeville community. He served as fire chief from 2003-2016.

Members of Unit 37 American Legion Auxiliary presented Auxiliary Member of the Year Award to Renee Wright for all her contributions including assisting in updating Unit 37’s constitution and bylaws. Sophia Wright, daughter of veteran David Wright and auxiliary member Renee Wright, was also honored as Junior Auxiliary Member of the Year for all her help and sunshine she brings to the unit. She is the unit’s Poppy Girl. Auxiliary member, Gemma Audisio, received a certificate of appreciation for all her hard work making bracelets and blankets for auxiliary projects.

The Sons of the American Legion (SAL) member Rusty Owen received his SAL cap and first medal for completing SAL membership activities including making and presenting the SAL Wreath on Memorial Day. New members Tristian, Merlin, Jack and Johnathan Reed received American Flag pins acknowledging their commitment to serve God and country.


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