SWLA native Bill Leger to be recognized posthumously for journal - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SWLA native Bill Leger to be recognized posthumously for journalism excellence

Bill Leger (Source: Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana) Bill Leger (Source: Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana)
Hector San Miguel (Source: Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana) Hector San Miguel (Source: Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana)
Edwin Edwards (Source: Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana) Edwin Edwards (Source: Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana)

The following is a news release from the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana:

The Hector San Miguel Memorial Fund will honor the late Bill Leger at a luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 11:30 a.m. in the L'Auberge Casino Resort Ballroom.

Four-term Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards will deliver the keynote address.

A Kinder native, Leger was a longtime reporter and anchorman for KFDM-TV in Beaumont. He died in December 2012. He won many awards for his journalism, including for coverage of hurricanes, the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. and the space shuttle explosion over East Texas.

Scott Lawrence, who was Leger's executive producer at KFDM, said Leger's, "investigative reporting was characterized by a passionate desire to get at the truth. He was tough but fair. Bill's reports exposed wrongdoing and corruption. They prompted changes that benefited the public."

"We and many in the community remember Bill for much more than his television work. Bill was a caring, compassionate person who enjoyed helping people and touching their lives through his tireless efforts with non-profit groups. He helped raise millions of dollars for such groups by organizing and emceeing hundreds of events and fundraisers in his decades of service to the community," Lawrence said. "Bill sat across from me for 20 years. His death was like losing a brother, but his spirit lives on in our newsroom and helps guide us each day, through his legacy of giving and his relentless pursuit of the truth."

The award that will be presented posthumously to Leger is named for the late Hector San Miguel, who left an indelible mark on our community through an award-winning journalism career at the American Press, driven by his relentless pursuit of the truth. The Memorial Fund in Hector's memory recognizes others for their outstanding achievement in journalism. In partnership with the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, the goal is to give an annual award stipend for a recipient selected by the fund's advisory board. The Community Foundation, the host of the Dec. 5 luncheon, is a nonprofit organization that assists donors and philanthropists with their charitable giving. The Community Foundation holds the fund in a field of interest endowment.

In addition to bestowing the award on Leger, the Hector San Miguel Memorial Fund has selected KPLC-TV reporter Gerron Jordan as the recipient of this year's professional conference award. The fund will reimburse Jordan for his expenses to attend next year's National Association of Black Journalists' national convention.

L'Auberge Casino Resort is the Presenting Sponsor of the luncheon. Luncheon reservations, available for $40 or $320 for a reserved table of eight, must be made in advance and purchased by check or cash. A limited number of Corporate Table Sponsorships are available for $500 and include preferred seating, a reserved table for 8 and your company logo included in the event program. Following the luncheon, Governor Edwards will be available to sign copies of Edwin Edwards: Governor of Louisiana by Leo Honeycutt; the books will be available for purchase.

Contact the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana at (337) 491-6688 or dvaughan@foundationswla.org for ticket information and sales. Reservations must be made by Friday, Nov. 22; the luncheon is expected to sell out.

The advisory board of the Hector San Miguel Memorial Fund consists of the following members: Sonny Marks, chair; Kerry Andersen, event chair; Carla Chrisco; Peter Dart; Brett Downer; Ann McMurry; Rick Richard; Theresa Schmidt San Miguel; Vic Stelly; George Swift; and Debra Vaughan.

Hector lost his battle with leukemia in December 2009 at the age of 51. He is remembered as a passionate journalist, faithful friend and dedicated husband and father. Through hard-hitting investigative pieces, Hector earned numerous state and regional awards and the position of City Editor at the American Press.

Anyone wishing to donate to the award fund may do so by contacting the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana (www.FoundationSWLA.org ) at (337) 491-6688 or dvaughan@foundationswla.org ; all donations are tax deductible.

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