Naperville American Legion Post 43 began naming a Citizen of the Year in 1986.  Four years ago, the program was expanded to consider naming a Citizen of the Year to three categories:  Service to the Community, Service to Youth, and Service to Veterans.


We are again asking for your assistance to identify deserving candidates in each category.


Nominees must be Naperville residents whose service must have been performed in a volunteer capacity, rather than as part of compensated employment.

Nominees must be Naperville residents.  Their service must have been performed in a volunteer capacity, rather than a part of compensated employment.


Anyone may nominate a candidate by sending a letter or email that includes:


  1. The category they are being nominated for (Service to the Community, Service to Youth, or Service to Veterans)

  2. A comprehensive description of the services the nominee performed

  3. The time frame and duration

  4. The significance of the service to others

  5. Name and contact information of the nominee

  6. Name and contact information of the person offering the nomination.

  7. Letters from other people endorsing the nominee are encouraged.


Naperville is blessed with many people who serve their fellow citizens.  The judges have a very difficult task. Comprehensive information—attachments and endorsements are greatly helpful in selecting the winners.  These may be mailed to:


American Legion Post 43

Citizen of the Year

Post Office Box 4

Naperville, 60566


 or emailed (preferably) to:


Submissions must be received by:   March 18, 2020.


Winners will be announced in the local media and honored at the Legion’s Awards and Recognition Banquet on April 18, 2020. 


Citizen of the Year

Will YOU nominate Naperville's Citizen of the Year?

Citizens of the Year

and their contributions

2019 - Service to Youth

Alissa Johnson Tripas

Like her fellow Service Award winners, Ms. Johnson Tripas is tireless in working for others, and she has done so over an extended period of time.  One nomination letter describes her enthusiasm and leadership as boundless; she is an example to all.  Students in Naperville enjoy a high-quality education, along with social and emotional support, because of people like her.  She has been a member of the Naperville Education Foundation Board of Trustees for six years and served as Chair for two years. She founded and, for five years, chaired Team Naperville Education Foundation, which has raised an estimated $175,000 to benefit students in Naperville School District 203.  She is founder and chair of Team NEF Kids; serves on the board for Young Naperville Singers; is President of Junior League of Kane and DuPage Counties; President and Board member of the Home and School Association of Kinsley Elementary School and has been an event committee lead at SamaraCare Counseling.

2019 - Service to Veterans

Richard Yndestad

Mr. Yndestad’s serves veterans in a multitude of ways.   On Fridays, he can be found at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery “Sounding Taps” for the veterans being buried that day.  He fills the same roll for the combined Naperville American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars post’s “Honor Guard” for local burials and funeral home “Walk thru’s,” honoring those veterans at their wakes.  He makes himself and his bugle available for other veterans causes, such as the DuPage Veterans Foundation Fund Raiser in support of Honor Flight Chicago, which sends WWII, Korean (era) and Viet Nam (era) veterans to Washington D.C. to visit military branch memorials   and be honored by their fellow citizens.  He is also editor of Naperville American Legion Post 43’s monthly newsletter, which has been named the Number 1 Newsletter in Illinois, for posts with over 400 members.

2019 - Service to Community

Joe Labut

Since joining Naperville Community Radio Watch (NCRW) in 1993, Mr. Labut has provided over 4000 hours of community service in a multitude of tasks, including night time Police Beat Patrols, training patrols, seat belt compliance patrols, and patrols targeting high crime areas.  He has also conducted hand held mobile device surveys, radar surveys, and special event security patrols during Rib Fest, Art Fairs, parades, and other occasions, such as Black Wednesday, that bring large crowds to the city.  He was twice named the NCRW Member of the Year, served as President from 1999 to 2010, and in 2018 he returned to the board, where he has focused on updating the new recruit training manual, NCRW procedure manuals, and service contracts for special events.  This past year he was instrumental in adding five new members and a half dozen prospective members currently in training.

2018 - Service to Youth

Larry Lucas

Respected and loved, for his devotion to promoting Little League Baseball and its mission, for forty years of service,  contributions as coach and administrator, most of all for his devotion to the kids growth and development of  baseball skills and placing the welfare of each boy above all else.  “Larry instilled in the kids the important virtue that nothing comes easily and you must instead practice and work hard for whatever you want to excel at and achieve.” 

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