BRUCE DILLON moved to Venice 60 years ago, when he was 4 years old. And although he says he can’t imagine a better place to live, Dillon has worked tirelessly to leave the area better than he found it.
Dillon is the longest-serving member of the Nokomis Civic Association, where he has helped bring sidewalks, county water and other infrastructure to the unincorporated community just north of Venice. He’s also vice president (and former president) of Friends of the Legacy Trail.
That trail is one of the area’s most popular attractions, a 10.6-mile biking/walking route that runs from the train depot in Venice north to southern Sarasota. More than 120,000 people bike, run or walk it every year.
Dillon is among the volunteers seeking to enhance the Legacy Trail, including getting an overpass over Laurel Road. Friends of Legacy Trail also have raised $90,000 to help pay for plans to extend the trail another eight miles to Payne Park in the heart of Sarasota.
Part of the satisfaction Dillon gets in public service is seeing years of work pay off. For example, a decade-long effort to bring sewer lines to Colonia Lane in Nokomis and revitalize the business district there will finally happen early next year.
“I just like to see a result, to build something and see it completed, even if it takes time,” Dillon says. “I guess I’m like the Energizer Bunny. I just don’t quit.”