First Posted: 2/18/2014
It’s time to vote for this year’s recipient of the Charles D. Lemmond Jr. Community Spirit Award.
The award, named after the former senator who passed away in 2012 to recognize a resident of the Back Mountain for his or her leadership and advancement of community spirit, was established by The Dallas Post in 2013. The first recipients were David and Judy Rimple, honored for their work with the Back Mountain Trail.
Readers of The Dallas Post will vote for the person they believe would be an appropriate recipient of this award. A ballot appears in today’s paper. Nominations must be returned to The Dallas Post by April 30.
The Charles D. Lemmond Jr. Community Spirit Award honors those who endeavor to improve the lives of Back Mountain residents through oustanding community service, public service or philanthropy and embody Senator Lemond’s commitment to doing the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason.
Charles D. Lemmond Jr. (1929-2012) called the Back Mountain home for more than 50 years. Through his constant and active involvement in a wide range of community groups, he touched many livesm gave a sense of direction and responsibity to numerous improvement projects and served as an inspiration to countless individuals.
As a soldier, solicitor, prosecutor, judge and legislator, Lemmond demonstrated a strong devotion to civic duty. His 21 years as a well-respected state Senator were marked by his standard of integrity, his pursuit of justice and his desire to do what was right for the people and the community he served.
Numerous Back Mountain organizations benefitted by Lemmond’s leadership. He was an enthusiast of the Back Mountain Memorial Library Auction and helped secure funding for the expansion of the children’s wing. As a 33rd Degree Mason, member of the Caldwell Consistory and George M. Dallas Lodge 531 and as potentate of the Nobility of Irem Shriners, he was dedicated to caring for children in need. One of his proudest legislative accomplishments was a law he authored requiring hearing screenings for newborns.
A friend of education, Lemmond supported scholarships for Dallas and Lake-Lehman High School students through his involvement with the Dallas American Legion Post 672. He was a lifetime trustee at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School and long-time alumni interviewer for his alma mater, Harvard University. As a member of the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Advisory Board, he worked on numerous campus improvements, including the state-of-the-art Nesbitt Library. Further acknowledgement of his commitment to learning was proven by Misericordia University in the naming of its campus performing arts center at the Lemmond Theater and by Wilkes University which awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.
His faith kept him active with the Dallas United Methodist Church, the Wyoming Conference of United Methodist Churches and the Back Mountain Men’s Ecumnenical Breakfast which he co-founded. For more than 30 years, Lemmond and his family hosted the Naylor/Lemmond Memorial Community Thanksgiving Dinner which brought holiday warmth and cheer to thousands of area residents. He especially enjoyed his service on the Commission on Economic Opportunity’s Board of Directors and took seriously its motto of “People Helping People.” The Salvation Army also benefitted from his good works where he was well known for his support of its annual kettle drive and was once honored as Citizen of the Year.
His impact on the quality of life of the region can also be seen through projects such as the Back Mountain Trail, the Back Mountain Recreation Facility, the Charles D. Lemmond Jr. Community Playground and safety enhancements to State Route 309, the Back Mountain’s main business corridor.
Sen. Lemmond died May 30, 2012, at the age of 83.