Column: Citizens of the year make life better for all
By Mike Kelley
When Jim McDaniel, a friend for many years, came into our office last week for a visit, I began to reminisce about the many people who have worked hard to improve our communities.
Jim owned and operated an Alfa Insurance Agency for many years in Jemison. I served on a few committees and boards with Jim over the years and can attest that he spent much of his time paying his civic rent through hard work. Like others, he understood living in a community carried the responsibility of working to improve it.
Working as a member of the staff of a newspaper, I traveled in some of the same circles as Jim did. However, many times I was covering a story (actually working for compensation) but Jim and others were giving their time freely.
He was recognized for some of his efforts by the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce several years ago when the organization named him Citizen of the Year for his service to to the people of Chilton County.
Jim retired from the insurance business and moved to Destin, Fla. and is now in the real estate business.
Like he did while he was a Chilton County resident, Jim continues to work with the YMCA organization where he lives, serving in several leadership roles.
Discussing others who played big roles in our county when Jim lived and worked here, the late P.F. Singley’s name was prominent in the conversation.
Another Citizen of the Year recipient, P.F. also gave much of his time serving on many boards and in organizations that have improved the lives for all of us. A tractor salesman by profession, P.F. will always be known in Chilton County for the steaks he cooked to help organizations throughout our county raise funds.
I am not foolish enough to try to name all the people who have worked as Jim and P.F. did for our county. At 61 years old, I’m sure my memory would cause me to miss some.
It is good to know that others have stepped up now to keep organizations in our county moving forward. I am fortunate to live in Chilton County and see firsthand the time and efforts residents in this county give to help all of us enjoy better lives.
– Mike Kelley is publisher of The North Chilton Advertiser. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.