I'm sure it goes back generations, I've heard stories about the grandfather. My mom worked with him, and by all accounts he was a bit abrasive and abrupt. And he was also the best person to have volunteering on a committee. And he wanted nothing but the best for his community. If there was a need that he could fill, he was your man.
I understand that this was passed on to his son. Just a few years ago, he won an award for lifetime volunteering in his community. He was more like a second dad to me than a 'great community man.' But I do know that he has been working on the local museum. And because of him, and many other volunteers, their small community has a museum to be proud of. They've found a way to display some really exiting items - on a kind of time share basis with the owners.And now I see my childhood friend - taking on the volunteer 'community hero' mantle. She started with volunteering with the "Legion Ladies" and helping to bring the next generation into keeping the legion alive in their community. She's rounded up a volunteer board and helped to lead the building of a daycare. I think she thinks that I was the 'good one'... or some such silliness. And maybe I followed convention a bit better in our youth. But really, she's the one setting the 'community hero' example for me. I'm hugely thankful that she's my friend... and more than anything, super proud of her.