Gateway Elks Lodge names its first ‘Citizen of the Year’

See why Portland journalist Rich Riegel was honored by this prestigious organization‚

The banquet room at the Gateway Elks Lodge was packed with members dining at a club banquet before Riegel’s award ceremony.

Story and Photos by David F. Ashton
On March 16, Rich Riegel was presented its first “Citizen of the Year Award” by Gateway Elks Lodge No. 2411.

We learned that the Citizen of the Year Award – given for the first time this year by the Gateway Elks Lodge – is a national program in which the lodge selects an individual, not necessarily an Elk, who has contributed to improving the community.

Meet Mid-county Memo’s editor
At the gala event, Linda Repp, the Lodge’s outgoing Exalted Ruler (and Elks State Officer of the Year ’05-’06), detailed Riegel’s background:

Riegel has been the editor for the monthly Mid-county Memo neighborhood newspaper for the past 17 years. This newspaper, published since 1985, serves residents and business people in northeast Portland’s Gateway and Parkrose districts.

Gateway Elks Lodge’s Exalted Ruler 2005‚ 2006, Linda Repp, confers the “Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award” upon Rich Riegel.

The Oregon native is a U.S. Air Force veteran. Riegel worked at jobs ranging from being an armed forces news service reporter to a base television station producer, director, and on-air newsman.

After graduating from the University of Oregon, Riegel worked for newspapers throughout the Portland and Vancouver area, as a reporter, editor, and photographer.

Riegel’s volunteer work includes tutoring elementary school children in the art of writing.

“I’m very pleased to be honored in this way,” Riegel told us, “In my opinion, the Elks can do no wrong.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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