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A lasting tribute reminds us of the power of love

Chris Johnson obviously was a great guy.

A Renovo native and great citizen who served his country in the U.S. Army Reserves.

A lovable son and wonderful friend.

We say those things because it is remarkable — a testament to the strength of lasting love and friendship — that Chris’ friends have organized and held a memorial golf tournament for 25 consecutive years since his death in 1996 while training with demolition crews in the Army Reserves.

Said his mother, Alberta, “Twenty-five years … for twenty-five years they (Chris’ friends) have done this for Chris and helped kids out with scholarships. It means so much to me … I could never explain it.”

This year the tournament, featuring a four-person scramble, drew 27 teams at Emporium; most years it has 30.

Chris’ memory lives on, and not just in the hearts of his family and friends.

His friends have made sure that Chris’ legacy of friendship and service is paid forward to high schoolers through scholarships with money raised at the golf tournaments.

As The Express reported this week, the success of the tournament has organizers presenting checks totaling over $2,000 on graduation night each year to a boy and a girl who letter in two varsity sports, possess a 3.0 or better grade point average and who have been cooperative and coachable.

Remarkable.

Congratulations to the tournament organizers.

Thanks for reminding us of the power of love.

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