The manager of the Collins Valu-mart in Burk's Falls is the community's Local Champion for September. Brad Crozier was nominated for the work he does on the Downtown Redevelopment Committee. Council created the committee, which is chaired by a member of council and staffed with volunteers, a few years ago to help redevelop the downtown. Crozier has been a committee member for about two years and part of what he does is to help downtown businesses and downtown property owners improve their building exteriors with grants. The committee has also been making signs for the River Walk which run through a series of trails and Crozier says the signs describe the area as well as point out historical facts about the community. The Downtown Redevelopment Committee members are also responsible for small beautification projects for the downtown like putting up planters. When he's not managing the grocery store, Crozier lets his artistic side take over. A recent four-by-four painting he did of how Burk's Falls looked about 100 years ago hangs in the town hall. What's more, his painting is being made into a 10-by-10 foot piece of artwork that will hang outside the theatre on Ontario Street as a further means to beautify the downtown. Part of the painting includes steamboats running along the Magnetawan River in addition to the trains that ran through Almaguin. “It's a representation of the town and what the village looked like back then,” Crozier said, adding the larger artwork will go up in the near future. Crozier said he was surprised to get the call from the municipal office that he was named September's Local Champion because he doesn't volunteer for the sake of being recognized for his work. He has no idea who nominated him but says getting recognized for one's work has a nice feeling to it. Crozier is also a volunteer member of the Burk's Falls and District Historical Society. Council created the Local Champion program earlier this year with the goal of recognizing volunteerism. Each month members of the public can put forth the name of a person they believe is deserving of the recognition. Council then selects the Local Champion's name for that month from the list of nominees. The winner receives a gift bag filled with $100 worth of goods from local merchants. The program runs until the end of this year. Click the link http://www.burksfalls.net/announcements/burks-falls-local-champion for details on how to nominate someone. Residents of Burk's Falls, Armour and Ryerson are eligible to be nominated.
Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget