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Legion honors Crosslake police, firefighters

Crosslake Police Department Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal1 / 4
Crosslake Fire Department Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal2 / 4
Crosslake Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller receives a $3,000 donation from Crosslake American Legion Post Commander Paul Palmer Sunday, Sept. 17, during an appreciation dinner the legion held for local law enforcement. Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal 3 / 4
Crosslake American Legion Post Commander Paul Palmer presents Police Chief Erik Lee with a $3,000 donation for the department during an appreciation dinner the legion held for law enforcement Sunday, Sept. 17. Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal 4 / 4

Crosslake police officers and firefighters were honored for their service Sunday, Sept. 17, at a dinner hosted by the Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion Post 500.

Post Commander Paul Palmer kicked off the event by discussing the Legion's commitment to serving veterans and other local service organizations. Palmer said the Legion is on track to donate about $25,000 this year and prides itself in keeping donations local.

As a result, he presented a $3,000 donation to both Police Chief Erik Lee and Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller for their respective departments.

Crosslake Mayor Patty Norgaard also thanked the officers and firefighters for their work.

"Since taking office, I've had a new appreciation for the dedicated commitment that the fire and police make to our community," she said.

Norgaard presented Lee with a Friends of the City award, an honor the fire department has previously received.

"We've only given this out three times this year, so they are a valued recognition," Norgaard said. "This is a small token of how much we appreciate a first-class fire department and a first-class public safety department. And we are proud that they are in Crosslake."

Lohmiller and Lee both gave overviews of their departments, and then all the officers and firefighters present briefly spoke about why they chose to work/volunteer in their fields.

Lee thanked all of the spouses who stand by officers and firefighters for support.

"What you guys do for us is absolutely incredible," Lee said. "So thank you, spouses. Without you guys it would be real hard."

After dinner, served by Jr's No. 19 BBQ, Legion member Dan Schorr spoke more about the Legion and auxiliary's mission, duties and accomplishments throughout the years.

"We're always looking for new members to keep the Legion strong so that we can continue in our efforts," Schorr said. "I know it sounds like it might be a lot of working being a member here ... but the best part is knowing that you're doing something that can make a difference. And we do have a lot of fun."

Schorr ended with words of gratitude toward the honored guests.

"Thank you for listening, thank your for coming tonight, and most importantly, thank you for serving our community," he said.