Ronald Reagan Tribute Dinner Set for February 8

January 1, 2020

The Republican Women of Marion County will be hosting the first Reagan Tribute Dinner in February. The 40th President of the United States was born and raised in Illinois and went on to become a spokesman for an energy company, leader of a union, a governor and president.

“This is an opportunity for people in our region of the state to come to Marion County to honor one of our most impactful presidents, an Illinois native, Ronald Reagan,” commented Judy Shafer, president of the Republican Women of Marion County. “We are the home county of James Brady who was an assistant to the U.S. President and the fifteenth White House Press Secretary under President Ronald Reagan.”This new event will actually begin with a chicken and noodles dinner January 11 at Sprehe Field in Centralia, then a free showing of the popular Tom Hanks movie “Forrest Gump” at the Salem Community Theater on January 17, and culminating with the Reagan Tribute Dinner on February 8 at the Salem Community Activities Center with a program featuring “the real Forrest Gump,” Sammy L. Davis and his wife Dixie.

Sammy Lee Davis is an American who served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and was awarded the nation’s highest military medal for valor, the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest military award given to members of the armed forces for conspicuous gallantry at the risk of life.

Sammy Davis’ program of “Duty, Honor, Country” will talk about his harrowing experience in Vietnam for which he earned the Medal of Honor. Sammy has shared his incredible story with more than a million school children, veteran groups, corporate gatherings, civic groups, and at military bases at home and abroad.

Sammy is one of three Medal of Honor recipients portrayed in Feats of Valor, a documentary aired on the Discovery Military Channel, and he is an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation which serves veterans and responders. His book, You Don’t Lose ‘Til You Quit Trying reveals a gripping account of his Vietnam experience and powerful lessons he learned about love in the midst of war.

“People in our area are already familiar with the annual Lincoln Day Dinner that has been around for 70 years, and this will be another opportunity to honor a great American from Illinois and his impact on our nation,” said Debbie Smith, treasurer of the Republican Women of Marion County.

For more information, to purchase tickets for any of these events, please contact Judy Shafer at 618-367-6733 or or contact Debbie Smith at 618-267-0695 or