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Well-known volunteer named top citizen of ’98

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Retired high school teacher Walter Horban last week was chosen as the 1998 “Citizen of the Year” for Fort Frances.

Horban, 63, who spearheads the annual town clean-up by high school students each spring, was selected from among the four local residents who were nominated for the award this year.

He was nominated by the board of directors of the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau, where Horban sits as its first vice-president.

“He exemplifies volunteerism and good citizenship,” executive director Joan Pearson enthused Monday. “I [personally] cannot think of anyone who deserves the award more.”

“He’s extraordinary in what he does every year for this community,” she added.

Horban said he was a bit surprised when told of winning the prestigious award last Thursday but noted it was nice to be acknowledged on a wider scale for something which brought him such enjoyment.

“I just love [volunteering]. It gives me a warm feeling inside,” he smiled.

In its nomination letter, the Volunteer Bureau cited many of Horban’s volunteer contributions, some of which dated back to 1970, including his work with extra-curricular sports at Fort Frances High School and his dedication to the annual town clean-up.

Since 1972, the town clean-up has brought 12,029 truckloads of garbage to the landfill site, with Horban making 966 of those trips by himself.

Horban’s nomination also included mention of his involvement with the local Rotary Club as a summer camp counsellor for exceptional children, and for his initiative in the construction and ongoing maintenance of the large skating rink at St. Michael’s School.

As “Citizen of the Year,” Horban will ride in the Rotary Santa Claus parade this Saturday. He formally will receive the award at the annual town dinner Nov. 27.

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