Four 7th District Legionnaires were honored with the Department Commander's Award of Excellence when New York Legion leaders visited Seneca, Monroe, Wayne and Ontario counties Feb. 20-23.
Department Commander Kenneth Governor presented the awards, one posthumously, to:
• Robert Laprade, past commander and long-time adjutant of Manning-Lilla American Legion Post 463 in Ovid, Seneca County. Governor praised his leadership and hailed his "passionate involvement" in honoring veterans, including serving as chairman of the committee to host the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall and a steak dinner for all Seneca County veterans.
• Rene Vanmulem, a member of Eike-Jordan-Bauer American Legion Post 1501 in Fairport, Monroe County. Governor praised his leadership roles on the post, county, district and state levels, including having served as a Department vice commander. He hailed Vanmulem's "expert chairmanship of numerous committees from the post to the national level" during his 46 years as a Legionnaire.
• Daniel Abaied, who served as commander of Meyers-Ingraham Post 428 in Ontario for the past three years until his death on Jan 16. Wayne County Legion Chaplain Harry Pickard accepted the award on behalf of the Abaied family. Governor praised Abaied's leadership roles on the post and county levels, as chaplain for the Sons of the American Legion, and his passionate involvement in numerous Legion programs during his 28 years as a Legionnaire. Governor noted that Abaied was the post's 2013 Legionnaire of the Year.
• Rena M. Nessler, a member of Winnek Post 396 in Geneva, Ontario County. Governor praised her leadership as past county commander, 7th district vice commander, and, for the past five years, as adjutant of Winnek Post 396. He also hailed Nessler's "valuable contributions to various national committees."
The commander's visits were a joint visitation with New York Auxiliary President Barbara Corker and New York Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Detachment Commander John Chang.