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By MARTY FINLEY
ELIZABETHTOWN — As Nolin RECC President and Chief Executive Officer Mickey Miller attested, former U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis is a man who wears many hats. Or at least his name does.
Miller was one who helped honor Lewis Monday night at the Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner, hosted by the Lincoln Heritage Council, Boy Scouts of America at Severns Valley Baptist Church, and took advantage of the moment, poking some lighthearted fun at the former Congressman.
Miller said he wanted to dig up some “dirt” on Lewis to present to the crowd, sharing some of the results he compiled as part of a Google search.
The adventure would yield a number of results, including hundreds in Kentucky alone. Miller told the crowd he found information on everyone from athletes to actors sharing Lewis’ name, while also finding some information on the man himself, including several quotes from his time in Washington on topics ranging from the financial situation to the War on Terror.
Miller said a lot has been said about Lewis over the years, and he has been called a lot of names, some of which he is probably unaware. But he only had one name for him.
“I’m just glad to call him my friend,” he said.
Daniel London, chairman of the Frontier District of the Boy Scouts of America, reiterated Miller’s words, telling the crowd he was honored to introduce the man he had called boss for many years.
London said Lewis was a man supportive of the Boy Scouts, and put the needs of the 2nd Congressional District above his own wants and desires.
London also said he learned a number of lessons from Lewis, and trusted in him, not only for political advice, but Christian advice as well.
Concern never crossed his mind, he said, when scandals exploded inside Congress, particularly among Lewis’ own Republican Party. London said he knew Lewis was someone who stood behind the values he supported in public, something he voiced to those around him at the time. “What you saw is what I saw everyday,” he said.
Kentucky Secretary Of State Trey Grayson was the night’s keynote speaker, and said it was fitting for the Boy Scouts of America to honor Lewis as he mirrors closely the values important to the organization. Grayson said technology was impacting the world at a blinding rate, changing the way people interact with one another, but the characteristics of teamwork, leadership, ethics and service exhibited by the Boy Scouts are timeless.
Once taking the mic, Lewis injected some humor of his own, telling the crowd he thought London accidentally referred earlier to the award as the “Senior Citizen Award”, an honor he said was more fitting.
Lewis’ modesty continued as he acknowledged the past recipients of the award in attendance, claiming his accomplishments pale in comparison.
“I feel like crabgrass next to some tall oak trees,” he said.
The event also served as a fundraiser for the Boy Scouts of America, and Val Claycomb, chairwoman of the event, asked attendees to consider donating the $185 spent annually on each scout. Of previous donors, Claycomb asked for an increase in donations.
Early totals showed a definitive response, with about $65,000 given during the event.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762.