Acton's Citizen of the Year for 2006 is not an individual, but actually a group of area residents who are being recognized for their work in organizing a long-standing successful annual event in the town. The Acton Agricultural Society was named this year's recipient from a "very worthy list of candidates" by three former Citizens of the Year-- Dr. David Vanderbent, Dave Manes and Jack Carpenter. "The society has for 92 years provided Acton with the most successful continuous event-- the Acton Fall Fair," said the group in a statement when announcing its selection. "Over 100 people accomplish extensive work to make it possible." The selection committee said successive generations have been actively involved in the society and "received accolades from around the province and recognition for the town of Acton."
"While working to establish a new building in Prospect Park they continue to build respect from the town residents," said the committee. Acton Rotary Club, which runs the Citizen of the Year Program, will present the agricultural society with the award at a banquet Friday, May 12 at Blue Springs Golf Club. Acton Agricultural Society president Dale Hewitt was surprised and pleased with the honour. "We were pretty happy about that," said Hewitt. "I was surprised it went to a group, not to a specific person." This is not the first time, however, that a group has been named Acton's top citizen. Previous winners include the Acton Citizens' Band, Acton Cancer Unit and Building Committee of the Legion Terrace. Hewitt said the group consists of 50 active members, 100 on the fair board, 16 directors and three executive members- Hewitt, first vice-president Terry Foster and second vice-president Frank Hanes. When asked how the society manages to put on such a successful fair year after year Hewitt said it comes down to "long hours and working together with everybody." Along with the fair, the society members take part in several other projects throughout the year including the annual clean up of the portion of Hwy. 25 the group has adopted. Their annual compost sale is a fundraiser for the fair, which each year brings in approximately $1,500. The society also hosts an annual community brunch and its truck and tractor committee attends other fairs and raises money with its pull boat used in the lawn and garden tractor pulls. Hewitt said the society is looking forward to the completion of its longawaited new 25,000 sq. ft. building. They hope to begin construction this spring and have the building-- a multipurpose facility-- open and ready in conjunction with the fair this September. He said the new building will replace the home craft tent currently used at the fair, and be the venue for the popular Miss Acton pageant. At the banquet cocktails will be served at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $35 each, and available at Halton Hills Furniture, Alexanian Carpet & Flooring or through any Rotary Club member.