|Bill Zimmerman receives his Volunteer of the Month Award from Provecho Grill owner Rosie O'Connor and Menifee 24/7 Editor Doug Spoon.|
In 1988 as a young man starting a career in civil engineering for a firm in Temecula, Zimmerman settled in Menifee with a plan similar to so many others at the time. He took advantage of affordable housing, found employment within driving distance and began the life of a "rural" commuter.
As the community has grown over the years, many other transplanted residents have done the same: Drive out of town for work, come home to sleep, leave town again. Some, like Zimmerman, decided there was more to Menifee than a warm bed and a roof over their head.
"It really started at the city's incorporation," said Zimmerman about Menifee's birth as a city in 2008. "I knew there would be so many opportunities for the people here. People saw what was happening in other cities around us and we started asking, 'Why can't we do that here?' "
With Zimmerman's help, they did. He is a founding member of Arts Council Menifee, a member of the Menifee Valley Historical Association, a member of the Mt. San Jacinto College Foundation Board of Directors, member of a steering committee to form a Boys and Girls Club in Menifee, and a former Planning Commissioner.
He also is the winner of the March Menifee 24/7 Volunteer of the Month award, sponsored by Provecho Grill.
In addition to his other volunteer efforts, Zimmerman recently ran for city council. He also was named this week to the Riverside County Off-Highway Vehicle Committee, where he will seek to help create off-road recreational opportunities in the area.
To him, being a volunteer is simply caring about one's community and trying to make it better.
"It's a great way to develop friends and relationships, and it helps improve a city's quality of life," Zimmerman said about his motivation to serve as a volunteer.
Zimmerman credits fellow Menifee resident Linda Denver as his inspiration for getting involved in the community. He saw what the wife of city council member John Denver was doing with her time and he realized its importance.
"I admired her for her attitude as a servant in the community," said Zimmerman, who works with Denver on Arts Council Menifee and is the coordinator of the April 6 "Menifee's Got Talent" competition. "I remember telling my wife Julie, 'Look at her and all she does for the community.' "
With the leadership of people like Zimmerman and Denver, Arts Council Menifee is providing opportunities for local artists to display their works and talents. Long-range plans call for a performing arts center in town. And as a member of the college foundation board of directors, he hopes to make MSJC a greater presence and influence in Menifee.
Zimmerman received a $50 gift card to Provecho Grill, a popular Mexican restaurant in Sun City that regularly supports the community.
If you would like to nominate a Menifee resident for Menifee 24/7's next Volunteer of the Month award, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In 200 words or less, tell us why you believe this person should be the Volunteer of the Month. Please include your name, name of the volunteer, and the service the person provides.