American Legion Post 181 honors local membersMembers recognized for community service BY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR Post Commander Tony Morea awards Ron McEntire with the Legionnaire of the Year award at the annual banquet last Saturday night. When we hear the words “American Legion” many don’t realize just what those words entail but here in the Lake Stevens and Granite Falls area being a member of the American Legion means first and foremost, you love your country enough to give your life for it and secondly. that service is lifelong commitment.
Both of these qualities were evident at the American Legion Post 181 annual dinner banquet last Saturday night where not only was there great conversation, delicious food and lots of laughs but also a time to join together and honor all of those past and present military personnel who live in and give many hours of service to this great community.
Anthony (Tony) Morea, the current Post Commander for Post 181 was pleased and excited to honor not only this year’s Legionnaire of the Year but also many other Legion and community members who have served throughout the year.
“This is just a few of the people who really deserve recognition,” Morea said.
Commander’s Appreciation Awards went to Tom Thorliefson, Post 181’s Adjutant for starting the Support the Troops Rally on Armed Forces Day.
Joyce Rasmussen, Women’s Auxiliary Chaplain was recognized for always stepping in at the last minute when the Post was in need of a Chaplain.
Joanne Ralls was given a golden gavel to use in her duties as the President of the new Women’s Auxiliary.
The award that we were all there to see was given to Ron McEntire who was named Legionnaire of the Year.
McEntire serves as the Post’s Sergeant-at-Arms but was recognized for all of his work on the Post’s Aquafest float, which took many hours.
“He came to me with an idea,” Morea said of the float idea.” He also said that McEntire is a driving force behind all that the Post accomplishes.
“He has tried throughout the year to continually push the Post forward,” he said.
Currently, Post 181 has 191 official members with 156 paid members, many who have and still hold leadership positions throughout the community.
There are also 14 Post members currently serving in the armed forces with four Corps members lost last year.
“I truly appreciate your membership,” emcee Sean Simon said to all of those, young and old, who attended this year’s banquet.
Certificates were passed out to all of those who had volunteered in the past year’s Post programs including Color Guard at home field Lake Stevens High School football games, Aquafest, memorials and the selling of poppies.
Long-term Post 181 members were also awarded stars and pins for their many years of membership and service to the Post. Some had been members for over 45 years.
The new Women’s Auxiliary was also recognized.
Certificates of Appreciation went out to Fred Cushman who is the caretaker of the Lake Stevens War Memorial; Tuver Schwarzmiller,for his work at the annual picnic and barbeque; Dick Qualey was honored as “Master Barbeque Chef and Picnic Guru”; Don Mulder for his work for the Support our Troops photos; Jack Sahlbom for providing all of the wreaths at the war memorial throughout the year.
Mayor Vern Little was recognized for his unrelenting support of the Post and Pam Stevens, from the Lake Stevens Journal for helping spread the word of all the Post activities.