Michl named Citizen of the Year

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

In one of the first official acts of the new sitting council of the Town of Fort Frances, the recipient of the 2022 Citizen of the Year award was announced at Monday night’s meeting.

Bill Michl was announced to be the town’s Citizen of the Year for 2022, with Fort Frances mayor Andrew Hallikas revealing the decision and running through a small list of Michl’s many contributions and acts of volunteerism.

“One of the rewards of being mayor is the privilege of honouring outstanding citizens, and it is my outstanding privilege to honour one such outstanding citizen this evening,” Hallikas said.

“Bill is an excellent choice and a most deserving individual. Nominators refer to him as Robin Hood for his propensity to help others. They also state Bill is an amazing person who gives of himself and asks for nothing in return.”

Hallikas noted that the nomination forms submitted on Michl’s behalf shared that he has performed a number of different tasks for people in need, including cutting grass, changing broken locks, fixing toilet and plumbing issues and more.

“He doesn’t ask for money and is dedicated to helping others have a more meaningful life,” Hallikas shared.

“He does income tax for low-income persons through the Canadian Volunteer Income Tax program. He shovels snow for people. He transports the elderly to out of town doctor’s appointments.”

Bill Michl, left, was honoured during Monday night’s Fort Frances Council meeting, as the 2022 Fort Frances Citizen of the Year. Mayor Andrew Hallikas awarded Michl with a plaque for his years of service. – Submitted photo

Michl has been a longtime volunteer in the community through his efforts with the Voyageurs Lions Club and the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau. Hallikas noted Michl has been instrumental in organizing the annual Polar Plunge fundraiser that traditionally takes place on January 1 of the New Year, as well as raising money for other various organizations like the Arthritis Foundation, Lions International and Riverside.

“Bill is a runner and he raises money by running,” Hallikas said.

“He ran around Lake Superior and he ran from Fort Frances to Rainy River in order to raise money and awareness for good causes. There is no doubt that Bill is a most worthy recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award for 2022. Thank you, Bill, for your generosity, kindness, thoughtfulness and concern for your fellow citizens over all these years. You are a credit to your community.”