SPOKANE, Wash. -

A political legend in Spokane is being honored in a special way.

Former Democratic U.S. Representative Thomas Foley's health is starting to fail. Before Foley passes away, friends and family want to honor the statesman in a living tribute.

Foley spent 30 years in Congress, representing Spokane and Eastern Washington. He's 84-years-old now and has lived a good life but his health is deteriorating and that's why friends want to say thanks before it's too late.

"There are times that you need to honor a statesman no matter what party you are from," co-organizer Kent Adams said.

Foley has deep roots in Spokane, growing up here, graduating from Gonzaga Prep and even studying at Gonzaga University. He eventually went on to become the first Speaker of the House from west of the Mississippi.

"He always represented the Spokane area and Inland Northwest area very well," Adams said.

KXLY talked with Foley in 2004 about his affection for Eastern Washington. "I'm so grateful for the support I had from the citizens here. I look back on that as a great honor to have that support," the former Congressman said.

Before Foley leaves this earth, his friends want to host an event to tell the statesman just how much he means to them.

"Let's take advantage of an opportunity to say thank you when he still is alive and can still appreciate the friends and family," Adams said.

The event is on Wednesday, July 24th at the Bing Crosby Theater.  It's free and open to the public. The tribute runs from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Friends and family are encouraged to arrive early to record a personal greeting to Foley.

The special tribute will stream live to Foley and his wife who live in Washington D.C. Adams says Foley is very excited about the tribute and very much looking forward to it.