Community & Clubs: Ten more faces for the Hall of Fame

June 19, 2013|By Jim de Boom
  • World War II veteran Jack Hammett, middle, is honored at the Daily Pilot Community & Clubs Hall of Fame luncheon, as Pilot editor John Canalis stands at his side, at the American Legion Club, Friday, in Newport Beach.
World War II veteran Jack Hammett, middle, is honored… (Don Leach, Daily…)

Ten outstanding volunteers from Costa Mesa and Newport Beach were honored last Friday at the Daily Pilot Community & Clubs Hall of Fame luncheon.

American Legion Newport Harbor Post 291 Commander Jess Lawson was nominated by 3rd Vice Commander Ken George. A Legion member for five years, Jess has served as 3rd vice commander (three years), post commander (two years), District 29 Boys State chairman (two years), 5th Area Boys State chairman (two years) and Boys State counselor (two years).

He was recently re-elected to a third term as the post commander by the general membership and continues to oversee the Legion in its day-to-day operations and programs. Lawson, in conjunction with being the post commander, is the 5th Area Boys State chairman and a Boys State counselor, where he continues his passion for community service and the development of our youth.

Steve Grant was nominated by Charles Markel, past president of the Kiwanis Club of Costa Mesa.


Steve is a 45-year member of the Kiwanis club, a board member of the Costa Mesa Community Foundation and president of the Kiwanis Club of Costa Mesa Foundation. Steve is active in the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce and sits on the CM900 Club. You can find Steve on the third Sunday of the month flipping pancakes at the Isaiah House, a homeless shelter in Santa Ana.

Norm Witt Jr. was nominated by Robert Fish, president of the Newport-Irvine Rotary Club.

Norm has been a member of the Rotary Club for 34 years, serving as president in 1989-90 and over the years as Interact chairman at Irvine High School, Woodbridge High School and University High School, Rotaract chair at UC Irvine, district Interact/Rotaract chair and District 5320 matching grants chair.

He was the founding charter organization representative to Cub Scout Pack 645 for 13 years and Boy Scout Troop 645 for 12 years. Norm has been an AYSO referee, Boy Scout assistant scoutmaster and Rancho Del Mar District chairman for the Scouts. He has served on the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce board for four years, Commodores Club since 1996 and skipper of the Commodores in 2005-06. He served as chairman of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade in 2007.

Bill Simons was nominated by Bob Miller, president of the Kiwanis Club of Newport Beach/Corona del Mar.

Bill has been a member of the Kiwanis Club for 27 years, having served as president, community service chair, fundraising chair, membership chair and a member of the board of directors.

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