BY MAGGIE BEAMGUARD
The Seven Lakes Landowners’ Association recognized Julia Poisson as the Citizen of the Year at its annual meeting on March 25.
This award is presented by the board to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service to the Seven Lakes Community. SLLA President Heather Guild said that because of her contributions, Julia Poisson is fairly well known in the community at large.
“She was instrumental in getting our little library established, and she is now also managing that. She also conducts a water aerobics class in the summer months.”
Poisson is quick to acknowledge she didn’t start the library, which until right around 2020 was located near Food Lion. But she did help set it up in its new home in the club house.
“I coordinate volunteers. And I come in and make sure I empty out the old books periodically. I try to find homes for them or recycle them.”
A retired elementary school teacher, Poisson has a love of books but no library experience aside from her very first job. “The funny thing is my very first job one summer when I was 16 was in a library.”
She moved to Seven Lakes permanently in 2013 from Whitesboro, North Carolina. Her daughter’s family, including her three granddaughters, live in Seven Lakes. Her son and daughter in-law and two grandsons live in nearby Raleigh.
The best parts of Seven Lakes, according to Poisson, are the people and the amenities.
Poisson also supports the stables which her daughter, Crystal Fravel, manages, helping with drill team events and equestrian events.
While she claims to have not previously been very athletic, Poisson leads water aerobics in the outdoor, community pool each summer.
“I love water aerobics. I think I’ve been doing that for six or seven years.”
Poisson’s leadership and volunteerism does not stop at the Seven Lakes gates. She is an active member of Saint Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church on Seven Lakes Drive, where she has served on the vestry and currently serves with the Altar Guild. She has also worked with the Moore County Literacy Council for the past few years and volunteers once a month at Emmanuel Church’s thrift store.
The avid reader, knitter and gardener with a cheerful smile and humble manner was surprised to learn about the recognition. She first heard about it in a social media post by her daughter.
Fravel admires her mother’s contributions.
“She does so much for the community just because it needs doing,” Fravel said. “She doesn’t think it’s a big deal. It’s nice that the community is telling her it is a big deal and she is appreciated.”
Staying involved is something Poisson admired about her own mother, a role model for her. She also just likes to stay active. “I’m retired, and you know, I don’t want to just sit around the house and watch my husband sitting around the house,” she chuckled. “So I enjoy staying busy.”
Poisson encourages others to become involved in the community. “Read the e-blast and find out what’s going on,” she said. Like she has found, there are many ways to connect the things you love with what your community needs.
Contact Maggie Beamguard at email@example.com.