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FR&A 2022 Man of the Year: Bill Grippo

Bill Grippo
Bill Grippo is the 2022 Franklin Reporter & Advocate Man of the Year.

When the Franklin High School cheerleading team needed help raising money to go to the national championships in Florida, they knew who to turn to.

When a township family suffered the tragic loss of their toddler daughter in a pool accident, one person stepped up to rally residents’ support for them.

And when the newly minted FHS varsity football coach was asked to expand the breadth of the Franklin Food Bank’s Ambassador Program into sports, he couldn’t say “no” to this man.

The person referenced in all three instances is Bill Grippo, the Franklin Reporter & Advocate’s 2022 Man of the Year.

Through his decades of living in the Eight Villages, Grippo has developed the reputation of being the “go-to” person when money needed to be raised, whatever the reason:

  • Rebuilding the Villagers Theatre
  • Conceiving the idea of and building the township’s Cultural Gazebo
  • Creating the Ambassador Program, a sustaining fundraiser for the Franklin Food Bank
  • Raising money for the township’s annual July 4 fireworks
  • And countless fundraisers for individuals in sudden need.

He’s also had a hand in rejuvenating the Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce and is playing a key part in fundraising for the proposed YMCA.

Grippo is also a former Township Councilman and Deputy Mayor.

A 45-year veteran of the township school system, serving last as the memorable principal of MacAfee Road Elementary School, Grippo has for the past two years served as a member of the Board of Education.

He’s also a tireless volunteer for the Franklin Food Bank, organizing its annual golf outing and creating the aforementioned Ambassador donation program.

Over the past several years, said Mayor Phil Kramer, “Bill has spent much of his time finding ways to make Franklin better.”

“From Gazebos, to getting Franklin a YMCA, to feeding the hungry, to helping families in need, turn around, there’s Bill,” he said.

Nick DiMeglio, a close friend of Grippo’s, called Grippo “a true Franklin Champion.”

“He is widely recognized by the community,” DiMeglio said. “He has received many awards for his public and volunteer service.”

DiMeglio noted that Grippo’s efforts to bring a YMCA to the township “was awarded the YMCA Spirit Award at their Annual Campaign Ceremony for his commitment as Task Force Chairman.”

Board of Education president Nancy LaCorte said Grippo is “probably the best fundraiser.”

“He’s definitely an asset,” LaCorte said. “I couldn’t think of anyone better. He’s well-deserving.”

Allie O’Brien, the Food Bank’s development director, said Grippo “is an idea person. Creative. Unique. Thoughtful.”

“It’s fun to work to make his visions come to life and it’s inspiring to watch one of his ideas form fully in front of one’s eyes,” she said.

“Bill is a true philanthropist,” O’Brien said. “He is always thinking about Franklin families and his most emotive moments are when he makes a real difference in the lives of children.”

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