Penn Yan American Legion marks 98 years with awards

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

Johnson-Costello Post American Legion post 355 celebrated its 98th anniversary March 25, when it recognized members, volunteers, and local law enforcement and emergency responders.

Andy Swarthout was honored as the Seventh District Legionnaire of the Year, and was presented with a Lifetime Membership award for his contributions to the post and the needs of area veterans. For 16 years, he has served at the chairman of the Memorial Day observations in Penn Yan. He also organizes military honors at funerals in the area.

As the Seventh District Legionnaire of the Year, he will be honored in June by district officials, and at the State Convention in Syracuse in July, when all 10 District Legionnaires will be recognized and one will receive the statewide award.

Other awards presented at the dinner were:

• Community Service Award: Laurie Adams, local author and Keuka College staff person who coordinates Veteran’s Day activities at the college.

• The Yates County Sheriff’s Department Officer of the Year: Deputy Derek Chisom

• Penn Yan Police Department Officer of the Year: Sgt. James Maciejewski (accepted by Chief Mark Hulse)

• New York State Police Officer of the Year: Lee Wigmore

• Penn Yan Volunteer Ambulance Corps: Mahlon Brechbill

• Penn Yan Fire Department Volunteer of the Year: Rick Simpson Jr.

• 50 Year Member: Richard Hudson

• 45 Year Members: Taylor Fitch and Stanley Clark

• 35 Year Member: Mike Willis

• 30 Year Member: Bert Alexander

• 25 Year Member: Michael Healy. 

Each of the officer award winners are eligible to be named the Seventh District officer of the year.