Danville Life Saving Crew celebrates member for over 60 years of service

Leaders said Clayton Lester is the organization’s longest-serving member, and joined in 1962

Clayton Lester, member of Danville Life Saving Center for over 60 years (Credit: Kelly King with Danville Life Saving Crew and Danville Area Training Center) (WSLS)

DANVILLE, Va. – One man was recognized on Monday for his lifetime of service at a Southside organization.

The Danville Life Saving Crew said they hosted a small ceremony to recognize their longest-serving member, Clayton Lester, who joined their crew on March 10, 1962.

“Our volunteers and career staff continue to set the standard for excellence, first put into motion by individuals like Clayton,” said Robbie Woodall, Chief of the Danville Life Saving Crew. “His dedication to our organization and his community will always live on.”

Leaders applauded Lester for his positive impact on the crew and said the Southside Crew Hall was dedicated in his name.

Clayton T. Lester, longest-serving member of Southside organization (Credit: Kelly King with Danville Life Saving Crew and Danville Area Training Center) (WSLS)

Lester was a graduate of Spring Garden High School in 1958, and began his life out of high school in the U.S. Army, leaders said. He went on to graduate from Danville Community College and worked in the bank industry for some time.

Even though Lester already had a full-time job on his plate, leaders said he began to volunteer for the Danville Life Saving Crew, the organization said. He served as captain, which is today’s equivalent of being chief, before he stepped down into a business manager role for 19 more years. They said he also served with other rescue organizations over the years.

And while his years in service surpass those racked up by anyone else involved with the Danville Life Saving Crew, Lester isn’t done yet.

Leaders said that Lester is still active in the organization and attends every meeting that he can via Zoom.

Clayton T. Lester, recognized as Danville Life Saving Crew's longest-serving member (Credit: Kelly King with Danville Life Saving Crew and Danville Area Training Center) (WSLS)

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