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At a banquet on Oct. 1, the Kiwanis Club of Black Mountain-Swannanoa named Paul Russell Willison of Black Mountain the 2015 Kiwanian of the Year.

Willison, 76, who grew up in a dirt-floor home in an Oregon logging community, went on to graduate from Lewis and Clark College and work on top-secret projects as a physicist with the Navy in Seattle.

He joined the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Kiwanis Club in 1998 and has served the club in numerous capacities ever since.

Currently, he is the club’s assistant treasurer, end-of-year funds committee chair and thrift shop worker.

Willison has tutored at the First Baptist Church of Black Mountain, been a Guardian Ad Litem for Buncombe County and has worked to help find the best situation for many abused children.

He’s been a deacon and choir member at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church. He and his wife Barbara were married in 1997.

At the banquet, the Kiwanis Club of Black Mountain-Swannanoa installed new officers for the 2015-16 year.

Carl Bartlett was installed as president, Dave Wilks as president-elect, Cathy Ollis as secretary and John Knight as treasurer. Charles Robinson, Dick Hobson and Bob Gambrell were installed on the board of directors. John Franco, Kiwanis Lieutenant Governor for Region 1, presided over the installation.

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