Meet our past Logan Heroes Nominees
Lizette Villegas - Fall 2021
Lizette Villegas moved to Cache Valley from California when she was just 7 years old. Her family moved in with her grandmother in Providence, who she came to love dearly and learned many important life lessons from. She learned to embrace her culture, love those around her, and create meaningful relationships, but perhaps, one of the most profound lessons her grandmother taught her was the importance of service and giving to others.
As a child, Lizette noticed she was one of the only immigrants and people of color in Cache Valley at the time. She witnessed first hand the lack of support her community had for Latinos and that inspired her to provide a platform for others to share their stories and ultimately give them a voice. Growing up, she observed her grandmother supporting and serving the community often, which inspired Lizette to do the same, but in her own way.
Lizette oversees a Group on Facebook called, La Pulguita De Logan. In Spanish, La Pulguita translates to The Little Flea, as she wanted the Group to imitate a Flea Market that welcomed posts about religion, jobs, small businesses, people who need help, selling goods, etc. Initially, her idea was to use the Facebook Group to unite the community with cultural activities and gatherings, however, it turned into something much bigger. La Pulguita De Logan has over six thousand members and serves as a great platform for Lizette’s non-profit organization, dedicated to her grandmother, called Gloria’s Heart.
Just as Lizette’s grandmother taught and influenced her, the overall goal of the organization is to unit, educate, and support the Latino community. She said, “I do not call them ‘the community’ anymore; I call them my family.” When asked which event she felt has made the biggest impact thus far, she talked about the opportunity she had recently to educate Cache Valley about Day of the Dead or Dia De Los Muertos. She was able to spread awareness about Latino culture to over one thousand people and empower those who choose to celebrate and observe the holiday.
To know Lizette Villegas is to know you have a friend on your side who will lend you the support you need, when you need it. We look forward to seeing all the ways she will impact Cache Valley in the future and we are pleased to recognize her as the Fall, 2021, Logan’s Hero.
Lucas Martin - Winter 2021
Lucas Martin grew up in Shelley, Idaho, a small town just 15 minutes outside of Idaho Falls. He followed his wife to Cache Valley, where they attended Utah State University and have lived for the past 19 years. Together they have eight children, ranging in age from ten months to 18 years.
Lucas got a Bachelor degree in Family Finance and then a Master degree in Family Consumer & Human Development. From a young age, he had a strong desire to serve others and was fascinated by what non-profit organizations were able to offer families. He recalled getting lunch free from the school, as a child, on occasion. He recognized some kids paid for things and others did not. Lucas said, “I never thought of my family as poor. I just realized things were not the same for everyone.”
Over the years, he continued to serve others through non-profit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity of Cache Valley, Neighborhood Housing Solutions, and USU Extension, which helped people become more self-sufficient and get the assistance they need to care for their families. His obvious passion for helping others led to his current position at a non-profit organization called Bear River Association of Governments (or BRAG).
BRAG works to serve lower income households and communities in Box Elder, Cache, and Rich Counties. They help with everything from first-time homebuyer assistance, aging-adult services, emergency home repair, older property weatherizing and efficiency, to many other programs. Lucas’s department specifically helps those who are homeless, at risk of eviction, struggling with utilities, or need help filing their taxes. Lucas said, “My staff are the folks who really deserve this award. They have worked hard throughout the pandemic to keep serving the community.”.
In 2020 their department helped three times as many households avoid eviction or end homelessness, and processed about 50% additional heat applications compared to previous years. They have tried to make things more accessible to clients, including offering applications in both Spanish and English, installing an after-hours dropbox, and having applications as fillable PDFs. They often work with other non-profit agencies in the community to try and meet the growing needs of the citizens of Cache Valley. Lucas stated, “We are fortunate in Logan to have so many agencies and nonprofits who serve our community.”.
We appreciate the assistance Lucas Martin and his team offer to some of the most vulnerable groups in Cache Valley, and are pleased to recognize him as the Winter, 2021, Logan’s Hero.
Ted Chalfant - Fall 2020
What started as a small service project in the basement of the Chalfant family home in 2014, quickly became something much bigger. Ted Chalfant, the founder and current owner of Little Lambs Foundation, now works full time to lend support to foster children and families with young children by supplying formula, diapers, toys, activities, and more.
Chalfant grew up with 12 other siblings, which included several foster children, so he learned what it was like for foster children to transfer from home to home with very few possessions. It led to Chalfant creating the non-profit organization, Little Lambs Foundation, which collects and donates items for the Department of Family Services (DFS).
Ted and his family began accepting donations, where they put together something they called “comfort kits” in their basement, which included things like stuffed animals and activities to help the children during a transfer. The comfort kits act as peace offerings between caseworkers and the children, since the kits help the children connect easier, because sometimes this is all a child has which is consistent between transfers.
In 2016, Sierra Homes took notice of Little Lambs Foundation and donated a larger facility. With more space Chalfant was able to expand the services to building emergency kits, assembling hygiene kits, and running a diaper bank.
The Foundation focuses on helping families with young children, who fall below the poverty line. Ted explains the Foundation’s programs are not meant to be long-term solutions, but stepping stones for families who just need a little help along the way.
The emergency kits are dropped off for children at emergency care centers around Utah and include activities, snacks, treats, and sometimes pajamas. The kits are given to the people at the front desks to be passed out to kids and moms who need them. Ted’s wife, Stafanee, was inspired to the idea by a personal experience she had trying to keep her own children busy while in the Emergency Room and noticing families could benefit from the items in the donated emergency kits.
The diaper bank has been extremely successful in helping numerous families who visit Little Lambs Foundation to pick up diapers, oftentimes getting a week’s worth at a time. Chalfant said, due to the cost, 1 in 3 families with young children have a need for help with diapers. Fortunately, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation has been able to remain open and run a drive-through pick-up location for items.
Chalfant recognizes that his family members have built really good relationships with the families who come to Little Lambs Foundation. It is a tight-knit community, as they help support one another. “The community of Logan is the real hero,” Chalfant said, “we have incredible donors and great community support. We are always accepting donations, through Venmo, PayPal, or checks.”
We appreciate the service Ted Chalfant does for the Cache Valley Community and families around Utah, and are pleased to recognize him as the Fall, 2020, Logan’s Hero.
Lynn Lemon - Summer 2020
You may recognize Lynn Lemon from his 21 years of service as the elected Cache County Executive, and prior to that, as the Administrative Assistant to both Bruce King and Seth Allen while they served in that same capacity. Though Lynn retired in 2014, he still continues to serve the people of Cache Valley. When asked what he cherishes most about this service, he says “the people”.
Lemon was born in Roosevelt, Utah, and grew up nearby on a farm in Ioka with nine siblings in a two-bedroom home. At a young age, he learned the value of hard work and serving others. He attended one year of BYU in Provo before he served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the southern United States. Upon returning home in 1973, his friend convinced him to tour Utah State University (USU) where he transferred and met his wife, Susan. They were married in 1975 and Lynn graduated soon thereafter with a degree in business administration and minors in marketing and economics in 1976.
The Lemons had two boys and four girls. One of their boys was born with a heart defect and passed away at a very young age. Their other children grew to appreciate service and hard work, and all graduated from USU. Lemon’s youngest daughter, Tiffany, enjoys sharing numerous inspiring stories of her father serving the community. She talks about how he showed up early and stayed late for meetings or events in order to help. He mows his neighbors' lawns, shovels the snow in their driveways, and takes in their trash containers. She says, “he just has a second-mile attitude” where he is regularly looking to go a little extra. For example, after shoveling the snow in his driveway, he looks over at his neighbor’s house and notices their driveway needed shoveling too. Once he completes that driveway, he goes on to the next and the next. As much as time and schedule permits, he continues to help those around him without being asked.
Lynn credits a lot of his success to Susan, who stayed home with the children, ran the house while he was away, and has always supported and encouraged him. One year, he decided to bike in the 200-mile LoToJa race which starts in Logan, Utah, and finishes in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. During the race he got two flat tires but only had one spare. He was ready to give up until Susan looked at him and firmly said, “you are not quitting this race.” It was enough to keep him going. She got him the spare tire he needed and he took it one mile at a time until he finished the race. They work as a great team and encourage each other to be better. In 2015, Lynn served a second mission, this time with Susan, where they opened the Logan Utah Mission. They worked hard in that capacity, preparing the area for young missionaries to live and serve, until 2018. The Lemons are a great example of going above and beyond as a team.
Cade Brenchley - Fall 2019
We honor Sergeant Brenchley as the Fall 2019 Logan’s Hero. Sergeant Brenchley was born and raised in Cache Valley and serves our community daily in several capacities. For over 15 years, he has been a police officer, resulting in several once-in-a-lifetime experiences; such as saving drivers from burning semi-trucks and delivering a baby in a car on the side of the road. He is also known as a Drug Recognition Expert.
Sergeant Brenchley and his team are responsible to patrol highways, respond to car accidents, look for impaired drivers, and watch for people who are wanted for a crime. He and his team also help teach Driver’s Education courses and are often invited to present at Cub Scout meetings and safety classes. We appreciate all the things he and his team do to keep our roads safe and community educated.
While Sergeant Brenchley enjoys these aspects of his profession, he loves his capacity as husband and father. He and his wife, Lindsay, have four fun-loving, determined, active children. Ali is a high school Junior who loves acting and theatre. Alivia (“Livi”) is a Freshman and loves playing and refereeing soccer games. Isabel is in the 6th Grade, loves all sports, and speaks French, thanks to a dual immersion program. And, Asa is in the 4th Grade, loves playing sports, is kind, and loves using his wit to make everyone laugh.
Sergeant Brenchley is as involved in these many family activities as he can be, and they support him in his career as an officer. This sometimes comes with extra challenges. In March 2018, while in the line of duty, helping cars that had become stuck on the side of the road due to high snowfall in Sardine Canyon, he was hit from behind by a sliding car that had lost control. This jolted his body into the air and he landed right next to the car he was on his way to help. The dashcam video of this occurrence drew national attention.
During the accident recovery time, people from all over the world reached out to Sergeant Brenchley and his family, offering to help by giving money or bringing meals. This influx of appreciation, care, and love demonstrated to him and his family inspired Cade and Lindsay to pay the kindness forward. They now regularly reach out to families of police officers whose lives have been affected by the profession and offer to help, knowing how the families might be suffering. He feels truly blessed to have recovered and returned to the police force. He says, “Life is precious, and it can change in the blink of an eye. And I want to make the most out of being spared.”
So, in honor of Sergeant Brenchley and all officers who serve our community, we recognize him as our Logan’s Hero for Fall, 2019.
Deborah Roghaar - Summer 2019
Deborah was a teacher for Kindergarten and Preschool programs in the Cache Valley Community for over twenty years, before she retired in 2019. She was inspired to become a teacher, even as a child, because her parents were both teachers. Most of her career was at the Edith Bowen Laboratory School in Logan, Utah.
It is easy to see she has a special love for all children, and teaching Kindergarten was extra special for her. When asked what she misses most about teaching, she answered, “hugs from little ones.”
As would be expected, Deborah has many funny and memorable experiences from her days teaching. She shares one such memory:
“We were talking about holidays and we were talking about Kwanzaa.” Deborah said, “Which is celebrated by African Americans in the United States. It’s to remind them of their motherland, which is Africa. And so I asked the Kindergarteners, ‘what do you think the word motherland means?’ and one little boy raised his hand and said, ‘well, it’s where all the mothers are.’” She chuckled and then added, “That was darling.” It was indeed.
Deborah mentioned it had not truly felt like retirement for her--because she usually has summers off--until it was time to start preparing for the next year’s students. “Not having to prepare for school coming up has been great,” Deborah explained. “I have been able to play pickleball and go hiking.” So, she has kept busy, not wasting a minute. She said something challenging about retirement is deciding the best thing to do with her time.
She taught over five-hundred children in the past 10 years. She explained, “It’s been a great adventure ... a great experience. I’ve seen a lot of my former students and to see them grow and mature and succeed has been really fulfilling for me.”
She is adventurous and keeps herself moving by skiing, snowboarding, hiking, or doing anything outdoors. Deborah and her husband, Bruce, have a dog named Dodger, six children (a daughter and five sons), and three grandchildren. Deborah’s favorite color is Navy Blue.
We are thrilled to honor Deborah Roghaar as the Logan’s Hero of Summer, 2019. We are grateful for the many years she dedicated to teaching the children of our community, and we wish her a happy and well-earned retirement.
Jaymee Avery - Spring 2019
Families Feeding Families has grown into something people can depend on and something many people in Utah know about. They help families get the food they need, pay utility bills, get Easter baskets, get warm coats for the winter and so much more. But, the money and donations come in a different way than is typical of most non-profit organizations.
Most of the activity that goes on for this organization happens on Facebook. When someone needs their help, Jaymee and her team of admins will post about their needs and ask the community for donations. According to Jaymee, they always get a quick response. Instead of regularly accepting donations when people want to give them, they ask for specific kinds of donations to help someone in need at the time.
Another thing that makes Families Feeding Families so unique, is the process they go through to decide which families they can help. Jaymee chooses to focus on a specific group. “We help the people that fall through the cracks,” Jaymee says, “there are people who will qualify for programs because they are low income, but there really isn’t anything for people who have jobs and are working hard.”
They focus on helping families and individuals who are not able to qualify for government or state programs. People who sometimes just need their utilities paid for that month, their groceries paid for that week, or new clothes for the school year. Families Feeding Families is there to help.
We are thrilled to honor Jaymee as the Logan’s Hero of Spring, 2019. We are thankful for the support she provides this community and other families in need around Utah.
Dan Starks - Winter 2019
Daniel P. Starks is full of energy and light and is a Logan’s Hero in the eyes of many. At 87 years of age, Dan has served this community in many capacities for over 50 years, including as the volunteer responsible for security and maintenance of the Logan Tabernacle for the past ten years. He views his responsibilities-which include managing meetings and public tours (and occasionally playing the organ)-as a hobby.
Dan’s professional career began in California, working for an aerospace manufacturing company, where he witnessed many innovative inventions, including lasers. After 16 years there, he became a Cryogenics Engineer, assisting with the Apollo space missions of the 1960s and 1970s.
He and his wife decided to move to Logan, Utah, to raise their family of six children. As a native of Cache Valley, she found it natural to want to return, whereas for Dan, Logan quickly became his new home. They have been involved in helping the community grow over the years. Although Logan had no need for a Cryogenics Engineer, Dan found he really enjoyed refrigerator mechanics (close enough, right?). He has loved meeting people in the community and fixing things up ever since.
After officially retiring just two years ago, he was able to dedicate even more time to his volunteer service. He says, “my life is really, really complete.” He arrives at the Tabernacle early in the morning and conducts his responsibilities throughout the day. When asked about his service, he says it is a “great opportunity to shine.” During the summers, there are thousands of people, from all over the world, who come to tour the Tabernacle and see the musical programs. “I like to meet people, and I get to meet one to six thousand people a week,” Dan says.
As a smart, dedicated, handy, kind, and welcoming person, we honor Dan Starks as the Logan Hero of Winter 2019. We are thankful so many people are introduced to our community through Dan’s smiling face and happy heart.