Bill Yaple arrived in Canal Winchester when he was 4 years old and he never left.
"It's the community I grew up in, and I feel very fortunate for my life because other people in the community have helped me through my life," said Yaple, who was born just miles away in Groveport.
The Canal Winchester community feels the same about Yaple, who will lead the 2017 Canal Winchester Labor Day Parade on Monday, Sept. 4, as its grand marshal.
The city's 97th annual Labor Day Festival is expected to draw more than 40,000 people to the city over three days, beginning Saturday, Sept. 2.
Festival attractions include a World War II memorial wall, live entertainment, car show, ice cream social, midway rides and numerous food vendors.
The parade steps off at 1 p.m. at Canal Winchester High School and heads north on Washington Street, east on West and East Columbus streets, north on Trine Street and west on East and West Waterloo streets before ending at the pool.
Yaple, 70, most recently led efforts to remodel a new location for the city's famed National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame, which is set to reopen in October. With a lengthy career in construction, he volunteered to do much of the renovation work himself, converting unused classroom space behind the Canal Winchester school district's administrative offices at 100 Washington St.
"He ended up doing a lot of the work that we thought we'd have to pay to have done," said Bob Wood, who spearheaded the search for potential sites for the museum. "With his background in construction and farming, he can do so many things, so he and other volunteers ended up doing so much of the work themselves."
Wood estimates Yaple's work saved the project between $50,000 and $75,000.
The museum could be open to the public by Halloween, according to Canal Winchester Area Historical Society President Sean Cleary.
"It would have never been done without Bill," Cleary said.
Yaple's spirit of volunteerism extends beyond the museum. The former Violet Township director of operations -- a job he held for 16 years before retiring in 2014 -- serves as trustee chairman for Hope United Methodist Church and the historical society.
He has been active on the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and Ohio Township Association. He won MORPC's William H. Anderson Award in 2010 for his leadership and devotion to regional planning. He also has been an active member of the Fairfield County Medical Center board of directors, the Pickerington Senior Center board of directors and the Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission, according to information from the city of Canal Winchester.
"Among Bill's many contributions to our community, he has regularly shared tractors, farm equipment and his time at local events throughout the years, including Canal Winchester's Christmas in the Village Celebration in December," Mayor Mike Ebert said in a press release.
Yaple and his wife, Jan, have two children, Jill and Will, and two grandchildren who will be fifth-generation graduates of Canal Winchester High School.
"I am very thankful to be able to give back to the community," he said.