ST. ALBANS – Michael Connor, a champion in youth sports, was named Citizen of the Year on Tuesday by the Rotary Club of St. Albans. Connor received the honor at a mid-day Zoom ceremony attended by nearly 50 community members.
âMike’s fingerprints are on many aspects of St. Albans,â Rotarian Michael Boulerice said. âI’m glad you live here and not elsewhere. “
The first Citizen of the Year was awarded by Rotary in 1993. Since then, recognition has been awarded annually to community members who go above and beyond to improve the lives of others. The Rotary Citizen of the Year Committee solicits and reviews nominations before leaving the final decision to the Board of Directors.
“Being a Rotarian is not a standard, but living as a Rotarian is,” said Tom Hungerford, Rotarian and committee member, at the awards ceremony. “Now is the perfect time for St. Albans to hoist the Connor flag high here for all he has done.”
Connor was selected for the hundreds of hours he and his company, Connor Contracting, spent restoring and expanding the St. Albans Little League grounds and recreational facilities. Her four children, all graduates of Bellows Free Academy-St. Albans, were heavily involved in the community’s athletic programs.
His name will be inscribed for all to see – alongside other award recipients – on the stone in the Rotary Grove, located in the southeast corner of the Collins Perley Sports Complex.
During the ceremony, Connor sat next to his wife Joanne and daughter Meghan. His sons Sean, Mark and Ryan, brothers Fred, Steve and John and his sister Maureen were also in attendance.
âI am honored and will accept this award on behalf of our entire family,â said Connor. âIt has been a privilege to live and work in this community for 30 years.
Youth sports contributions
Many of the ceremony’s speakers, including the Mayor of the City of St. Albans, Tim Smith, called attention to projects led by Connor that have had a positive impact on youth sports in the city and town. .
The St. Albans Little League headquarters on Aldis Street, Smith said, with its four fields and pavilion, exists because Connor encouraged city and town municipal governments to secure bonds to purchase the location of the railway.
âYou have the city and the city to work together, which not many people can do,â Smith said.
Connor oversaw the construction of the new Little League pavilion, which includes bathrooms, a snack bar, and an equipment warehouse. Some will remember when her daughter later hit a home run of her roof during the Little League Districts.
âOur little league is the envy of northern Vermont because of you,â Boulerice said.
Smith also said the Connor Contracting Pavilion built for the St. Albans Football Association at the Collins Perley Complex is a huge asset to the community.
Revitalization of the city center
In addition to building recreational facilities, Connor and his company have also helped revitalize downtown St. Albans.
âOver the past 10 years, the image of the town and town of St. Albans has changed,â said Smith. âPeople want to move here and be part of our community. Mike’s plans have a lot to do with it.
Smith said renovations to the St. Albans Free Library and St. Albans Museum are just a few of the projects that have benefited from Connor’s attention to detail.
Although he has almost always been a leader in these efforts, Connor said he felt like “a little cog in a big wheel”. He thanked his brothers for their business partnership, his wife for her support and the many volunteers who have worked with him over the years.
âIt was a blast,â he said. “Every day I get out of bed excited to do what I’m doing.”