Lansford Legion receives Black Diamond Award
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS On hand during the presentation were, from left, Lansford Alive members Rev. John Keiter, Director; Martin Ditsky, Treasurer; David Benevy, Secretary; Bob Silver, Vice President; Chris Ondrus, President; and Lansford American Legion members Rick Bachman, Commander; Nate Krajcirik, Sgt. At Arms; Tom Garrett, Adjutant and Service Officer; and Tim Midas, President, Lansford Legion Home Association.
The Lansford American Legion Post 123 was the recipient of this year's Lansford Alive Black Diamond award, which was presented to Legion members recently during the Black Diamond banquet and ceremony held recently at the post.
"The award was given to the post for their many efforts in making the community a better place," said Chris Ondrus, President, Lansford Alive.
Ondrus added that making the decision of who would get the award this year was fairly easy. He added, "The Legion's name was mentioned at our board meeting and it didn't take long to nominate them for the award."
Chartered in 1945, the Lansford American Legion, which currently consists of the Post, Home Association, Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and Legion Riders, routinely donate to or volunteer with many area organizations and charities. Some of which include Little League, adult softball, knee-hi football, JROTC, police, local American Cancer Society, fire companies, ambulance, Panther Valley Public Library and the Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League's Toys For Tots campaign.
The post also hosts many community events at their post free of charge. In addition to visiting nursing homes and providing rides for veterans to the veterans hospital, members also collect handicapped equipment for veterans in need of them. They also participate and donate to the Trees For Troops drive.
Two children's events hosted by the post include the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Christmas Party.
"We choose to help, because we know to always take care of your home," said Bill Cole, trustee and 18-year member of the post.
Tim Midas, President, Lansford American Legion, thanked Lansford Alive during the ceremony for the award and was honored that the Legion received it.
Rep. Doyle Heffley spoke during the ceremony and thanked the Legion for their continued efforts in the community. He also spoke about how the community is growing and praised those who find time to volunteer and work together to get things done.
"Our post's basic premises involve God and Country," said Rick Bachman, post Commander and 33 year member. "We strive to take care of our veterans and community - our own."
"The work the Legion does for our veterans, organizatons and the community is immeasurable and they definitely deserve the award," ended Ondrus. "Whenever their help is needed in the community, someone is alwys there to lend a hand."