The Mad River Valley Rotary Club has selected Dr. Francis Cook as its Person of the Year. Dr. Cook was selected because of his career-long commitment to the medical needs of the residents and visitors to the Mad River Valley.

Fran Cook has been a family physician at Mad River Family Practice since July 1981. He used to travel from Connecticut to Vermont to ski when he was in high school and later went to college at St. Michael's in Winooski. He received his MD from Georgetown University and did his residency at St. Clare's Hospital in Schenectady, NY. Cook married his high school sweetheart, Donna, and moved to Waitsfield in June 1981 with their 5-month-old son, Kevin. Their family grew to include Tim and Greg and now consists of daughters-in-law Kristin, Sarah and Jessica and grandsons Owen and Ben.

Cook has a number of interests and hobbies including running (nine marathons), gardening, skiing, hockey (played in the Capitol Hockey League for 30 years), sugaring, crossword puzzles, reading, playing piano and guitar (he played the accordion at his wedding), golf and, recently, raising chickens in the backyard. He was on Jeopardy in 1995.

Visiting elementary schools, speaking at various organizations and volunteering at People's Health and Wellness Clinic in Barre are among a few ways Cook shares his experience with others. It's not unusual for conversations with patients to include discussions about growing orchids, bowling, or the recent Red Sox, Bruins or Celtics game scores. The Cooks have lived in Moretown since 1983.

A dinner honoring Dr. Cook will be held at Sugarbush Resort on May 27 at 6 p.m. Members of the Mad River community are invited to attend. Reservations and payment can be made at either Eastern Systems or Edward Jones offices in Waitsfield.