Volunteer Spotlight: Paul Michell
By Matthew Starr, Upper Neuse Riverkeeper
It’s not every day that you come across someone like Paul Michell, and it’s hard to put into words how much he means to me and our mission to protect the Neuse River. Paul is one of those unique individuals who will give 110% and expect nothing in return. And when he reads this, he will probably call me and say “thanks man, but you didn’t have to do that,” which is exactly why I need to do this!
If you live in the Raleigh area and have ever been to a Tap the Neuse or the Jug-Oar-Knot event, then you have experienced exactly what I am talking about. Paul single-handedly does 98% of the planning and execution of these events, just because he wants to do his part. What we all know is that he did his part years ago, and has gone on to raise money more for clean water in a few years than most will in a lifetime. Paul is also the guy I can call when doing a river cleanup (he’s helped with many), and is up to doing anything that’s asked of him.
This type of selfless service will come as no surprise to those of you who know or have met Paul. If you have ever been to an event in Raleigh and seen a lanky guy in overalls and full brim hat, that’s Paul. Paul served his country in the Navy and his service didn’t stop there. Paul is the type of person that will bend over backwards to help a friend, or anyone for that matter.
So the next time you come to a clean-up or another one of our events in Raleigh, please thank the guy in overalls and full brim hat and, if the occasion allows, please hand him a beer while you’re at it.