Community

Citizen of the year by surprise

Muller - Contributed
Muller
— image credit: Contributed

Eric Muller,  a coach, graphic designer and painter who helps people of all ages achieve their athletic goals, has been named Pitt Meadows Citizen of the Year.

Muller, a 17-year resident of Pitt Meadows, was taken by surprise at a recent Canada Day meeting of volunteers when the announcement was made.

President of the Pitt Meadows Community Foundation, Michael Hayes stood up and started talking about a special honour that is presented each year.

“And as he was talking, I was looking at my notes and he slid a  piece of paper that had my name on it that said citizen of the year,” said Muller.

“That totally took me off guard,” he said.

“It’s such a surprise and being in Pitt Meadows for so long, I know the list of people who have been on it and it’s just amazing to me,” he continued.

Muller, owner and operator of Sole Experience in Osprey Village, has been a Pitt Meadows Soccer Association coach for 12 years, including teams for his son and daughter, and players of all levels and abilities.

He has been involved with Athletes In Kind, a local charity started by his wife, Lorie.

Since 2005, it  has organized athletic and non-athletic events to raise money for families who struggle financially because of childhood cancer.

Muller’s primary role with the charity is race director, although he also sits on the board of directors, helping with communications, promotions, mentoring and coaching.

As a race director, he looks after the Mundy Park Charity Trail Race, the Canada Day eight-kilometre race in Pitt Meadows, and the city’s one- and two-km events for kids on Canada Day.

When Muller is not coaching runners, he is a graphic designer and painter.

He was involved with the Spirit of Wood Community Carving Project with master carver Doug Morrison, designing the carving at the ACT and the maple leaf outside of the legion in Maple Ridge.

Muller also designed and painted the cutouts for the Osprey Village Christmas celebration.

Running is closest to Muller’s heart. He would like to see the Athletes in Kind Kids Club grow.

“That’s really an area for potentially much more involvement from young people who don’t necessarily consider themselves runners,” said Muller.

“That’s the thing with me, I think we are better when we are helping somebody else do something. That’s when we are at our best really,”  said Muller.

Thanking his wife Lorie, who got him involved with AiK, and those that nominated him for citizen of the year, Muller is humbled by the recognition.

Citizen of the year is presented annually to a person who has demonstrated a commitment to the community through volunteer work, community leadership and active community involvement. The Pitt Meadows Community Foundation solicits nominations, evaluates and presents the award.

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