PAUL HAMMOND becomes Rotary's 41st Citizen of the Year.
 
Presenting Paul with his award is Sub-Committee Chair Doug Marshall. 
Hit the "Read More" button to read about Paul's help and support in the Bracebridge community.
 
The Rotary Club of Bracebridge Citizen of the Year Award program began in 1982 in order to honour a citizen of our Town, who has demonstrated a pronounced and continued patten of exemplary civic duty, and selfless volunteer service in our community.  
 
In 2020, our Rotary Club Members voted to change the award name to the William E. Towns Citizen of Year award in honour of Bill's lifetime contribution and dedication to volunteerism. Bill was a dedicated member of our club for over 72 years beginning in 1948 until his passing in 2020. 
 
The club is pleased to announce that Paul Hammond has been chosen as the recipient of the 2023 William E. Towns Citizen of the Year Award.  Paul not only qualifies but exceeds the criteria in his selfless contributions and hard work by helping our citizens who are in need. He has been a valuable member of our club for 44 years, joining in 1979. He was club president in 1988 and was instrumental in the fundraising and construction of the Rotary Centre for Youth. 
 
Paul is a strong supporter of our local community and serves on many committees including the District of Muskoka's Donor Fund Committee and Humanitarian Committee, both of which assist local families. 
 
He was a volunteer firefighter for Bracebridge for 18 years.  The Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce has honoured Paul and his previous company (Muskoka Transport) various awards and commendations over the years in recognition of his community spirit.  The most recent award from the Chamber was in 2015 when he and his son Darcy were honoured for their outstanding contribution to Bracebridge following the sale of their trucking business. 
 
As a proud Rotarian, he has served as president and member of the Club's board of directors. He has been the Chair of the Human Support committee and the Rotary Cares Committee for 12 years.  Paul is a devout advocate of Rotary International's humanitarian causes. 
 
One noteworthy project Paul put together a few years ago was the 12 "rolling billboards".  He recruited 5 major sponsors, then provided 12 new trailers that he had decaled with Muskoka appropriate scenes. These units traveled throughout North America promoting Bracebridge and Muskoka for the life of the trailer which was about 10 years. Talk about advertising and promoting your community. 
 
Paul was an original member of the Bracebridge Industrial commission, a long time member of the Bracebridge Agriculture Society as well as a member of the Muskoka Pioneer Power Association. His trucking company supported the Santa Clause Parades in all three major Muskoka towns with the free use of truck cabs and flatbeds to be used for floats.

When the ice storm crippled parts of Ontario and Quebec on January 4, 1998, he, while on vacation in Florida, directed Darcy and Rotary Club members to use one of his transport trucks, fill it with emergency supplies and head to Drummondville, Quebec. 
 
In February 2022, Paul led the charge with arranging for a tractor trailer load of PEI potatoes to be delivered to Bracebridge to be donated to the local food banks and non-profit food groups in Muskoka. He was also instrumental in providing hand sanitizer for use in Bracebridge businesses when stores opened up after Covid 19.
 
Paul has served on the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation for 17 years including serving as past Board Chair.  He has helped to raise in excess of $1.5 million for the hospital over the years. He has also chaired the Picture of Health Campaign raising $5.7 million in 3 years.  He continues to be an advocate for quality health care close to home. 
 
Paul's volunteerism extends outside his official roles with the Bracebridge Rotary Club and the Hospital Foundation. His vehicle museum has brought over 3000 unsolicited visitors from all over the world to the area. His generosity has hosted fundraising events and functions in this unique space.  Paul will always offer a helping hand whether it's a ride to a medical appointment, sound advice or just a friendly visit. 
 
Paul's community service mindset encourages others to give back as well and has successfully recruited new Rotary members and new Hospital Board members over the years. In his professional life, Paul built a successful business that expanded over 47 years and employed over 300 people in the area. 
 
During the transformation of Annie Williams Park in 2011, Paul had one of his drivers drive a flatbed tractor trailer to Paris, Ontario to pick up a large load of steel from a playground equipment company and transport it back to the park and picked up the cost of the driver's time and use of the vehicle. 
 
Paul is very much a people person. Throughout the years, his many colleagues and business friends have dubbed him, "Mr. Muskoka". Paul could not have accomplished this without the love and support of his wife Shirley who have been married for 60 years. 
 
We are fortunate to have Paul as a Member of our Rotary Club and a citizen in our community.