Much like they did throughout their years of public service, former Lakewood Mayor Claudia Thomas and former City Councilmember Andie Gernon walked arm-in-arm Monday night.
But instead of trying to secure funding for a local meals program or convincing kids to become involved in their community, two of Lakewood’s founding mothers walked to the Council Chambers podium for a much-deserved special recognition.
The Lakewood City Council honored Thomas and Gernon for their tireless efforts to improve human services and make life better for the City throughout the years.
Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen recognized each with a proclamation and City Coin. In attendance were the likes of Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William H. Harrison – Lakewood’s first Mayor – as well as former Mayor and current Pierce County Councilmember Douglas Richardson.
Monday night provided more than a reading of Thomas and Gernon’s impressive resumes. It was Lakewood’s effort to say “Thank you” to two ladies who helped shape the community for the better.
Because of the efforts of Thomas and Gernon, the City dedicates 1 percent of its general fund to pay for human services that help Lakewood residents, making it one of the few cities that dedicates money specifically for human services – and one that hasn’t wavered despite tough economic times.
Because of their efforts, Lakewood is a six-time winner of America’s Promise “100 Best Communities For Young People.” To this day, the promise of Lakewood’s youth inspire them, they said Monday night.
Because of their efforts, Lakewood has become a better, safer, more positive place to live since its incorporation 16 years ago.
Both Thomas and Gernon flashed the smiles and wit that made Lakewood residents support them for so many years. They introduced their families and thanked all of the people who helped them along the way, as well.
And in typical, motherly love-fashion, Thomas jokingly warned about the importance of maintaining Lakewood’s dedication to helping people: “We’ll be watching.”
Got it, Mom. Thanks again.