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Trail volunteer honored in more ways than one

Tex Lewis holds up a decorated fish inspired by him at the Clear Creek Trail Salmon Auction two years ago. Lewis was recently honored with the Paul Brittain Award as well as another award created in his name. - Photo by Erin Beil/file photo 2006
Tex Lewis holds up a decorated fish inspired by him at the Clear Creek Trail Salmon Auction two years ago. Lewis was recently honored with the Paul Brittain Award as well as another award created in his name.
— image credit: Photo by Erin Beil/file photo 2006

By RACHEL BRANT

Staff writer

Tex Lewis received several awards for his community service and involvement in 2007.

Two of those honors, however, were presented by the Clear Creek Task Force at the same time.

Lewis, Clear Creek Task Force co-chair, received the Paul Brittain Award in December. He also learned the task force created another award in his name, the Tex Lewis Award.

“He had no idea. It was such a surprise to him,” said Mary Earl, Clear Creek Task Force member. “We kind of kept it a secret from him. We were pleased as punch with ourselves.”

The task force has been honoring fellow task force members with the Paul Brittain Award since 1999. The award is named after Clear Creek Trail founder Paul Brittain and is presented to a worthy task force member who is heavily involved in community and Clear Creek Trail projects.

“I didn’t want to be selected,” Lewis said. “I’ve received an awful lot of recognition and community support on the trail and would have liked to see it go to someone else, but I was pleased.”

Lewis thought the Clear Creek Task Force selected another member, but Earl and others actually picked him and had his name engraved on the plaque.

“Everybody knew he deserved it,” Earl said. “He just does a ton.”

Lewis was both shocked and honored that his peers gave him the award. He said he is usually active in the decision-making process for the award, but had no idea his friends were honoring him.

“I kind of felt like I lost control of it,” Lewis said. “I usually have a good voice in this.”

The Clear Creek Task Force continued to surprise Lewis by presenting the Central Kitsap Kiwanis with the inaugural Tex Lewis Award. Lewis and the task force decided to create an award honoring community members and groups who volunteer on the Clear Creek Trail, but the task force selected the name of the award without Lewis’ knowledge.

“That was kind of sprung on me too,” he said. “It’s kind of humbling, it really is.”

The task force selected the CK Kiwanis as the award’s first recipient because of their hard work throughout the years to improve the trail and their creation of the Salmon in the Classroom project.

“We’ve enjoyed and benefited from our relationship with the Kiwanis groups,” Lewis said. “They’ve been a tremendous asset on the trail.”

CK Kiwanis members were presented with the award at the December holiday social and were shocked to receive it.

“It was a complete surprise to me, but it was certainly appreciated,” said Bruce Van Woudenberg, CK Kiwanis secretary. “We were very surprised.”

The CK Kiwanis have done the Salmon in the Classroom project for 20 years and Van Woudenberg said the Clear Creek Trail is the perfect backdrop for the educational activity.

“It’s just an outstanding venue to do our Salmon in the Classroom project,” he said. “We couldn’t ask for a better place to do it.”

The CK Kiwanis have helped out greatly on the Clear Creek Trail by leading guided trail walks, planting trees, purchasing a riding lawn mower and adopting a section of the trail.

“Primarily, the work that they have done over the years is with the Salmon in the Classroom program,” Lewis said. “They were very helpful in our flood repairs just recently.”

Van Woudenberg said he feels the CK Kiwanis share the Tex Lewis Award with the Silverdale Kiwanis because both community service groups spend a lot of time on the trail.

“I kind of view this as more of a team effort between CK and Silverdale Kiwanis,” he said. “While our club has spearheaded the Salmon in the Classroom project, they’ve helped out a lot.”

Van Woudenberg said he hopes to volunteer on the trail for years to come because it is a great asset to the community.

“The trail is important because it provides us a venue to take the kids out and show them Clear Creek and its surroundings,” he said.

Although the CK Kiwanis were the first group presented with the Tex Lewis Award, many other groups and people will be honored with it for years to come.

“It certainly goes to the core values of the Kiwanis and any recognition of that is much appreciated,” Van Woudenberg said.

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