SAN MIGUEL – On Dec. 19, Michelle Hido received the San Miguel Town Key during the 30th Annual San Miguel Christmas Lights Parade.

Hido is the current Secretary and Treasurer of the San Miguel Firefighters Association and now the second San Miguel resident to receive the Town Key, following Gib Buckman.

Steve Kalar, a local San Miguel artist, made the key from wood upon the request of Mike Sanders a few years ago.

Sanders, a long-time resident of San Miguel and owner of the San Miguel Mercantile, was on the Advisory Committee and a chairman of the Chamber of Commerce. He created the Town Key to honor various individuals who have made a significant contribution to the San Miguel community through their time and effort, not their money.

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Gib Buckman, a San Miguel local with over 60 years with the San Miguel Fire Department, was the first to receive the key a few years ago, and now he has passed it on to Hido.

“It’s a real honor, especially coming from the Buckmans and Mike Sanders. They are a huge part of the community, and for them to think that I deserve it is an honor,” Hido shared.

The key is only passed on when someone who meets its requirements stands out, so the key is only ever placed in the hands of someone who truly loves the town.

And Hido is the perfect example of someone the key should be given to.

Hido is as humble as they come, and anytime she is asked about herself, she turns the conversation towards San Miguel and her fellow community members’ efforts. I don’t think she does this intentionally, but rather because San Miguel is her life, and she wholeheartedly loves the town.

Laverne Buckman, Gib Buckman’s wife, said the following before the start of the parade:

“We have a couple of very important people who need to be mentioned during this parade-First, Mike Sanders, who has kept this Christmas Parade going for so many years, is now undergoing treatments in Texas to hopefully save his life. We have a great appreciation for him and his commitment to this community, and we pray for his recovery.

Next, we have Michelle Hido, a special person in our community who, in this time of hardships all around us, has stepped forward to keep the traditions alive. The Christmas Parade, with the appearance of The Grinch, instead of Santa, and the amazing lights all over town-all of which are providing Christmas JOY to everyone. We are greatly impressed by the way you have pulled everything off. Thank you for the wonderful job you have done. May God bless you for your tremendous initiative!

As Mike has honored others in the past, today we honor you, Michelle, with the “Key” to San Miguel in recognition for all you do to make San Miguel a better place. Thank you for your time, effort, and commitment to San Miguel!”

Hido came from Los Angeles 10 years ago. After her parents bought a property in San Miguel, she began visiting as often as she could.

“It was an easy decision to move up here and start a life here. I’ve got some great neighbors, and I’ve made wonderful friends, and the quality of people here is just so different from LA. I really value getting to have this lifestyle,” Hido explained.

Through the fire department, Hido began to get involved in the community with her neighbor Scott Young’s help.

“The assistant chief Scott Young, he helped me find ways to help the town. He was a little bit of my mentor in how to help the town out. He’s done a lot; he’s been the president of the association for years,” Hido said.

Now, Hido is currently the San Miguel Firefighters Association (SMFA) secretary and treasurer.

With Hido and her fellow community members’ help and effort, San Miguel will become a ghost town by no means.

Some exciting things are happening for San Miguel.

“We have been trying to make San Miguel better and improve; we just had our adoption of Mission Street and were starting our cleanups,” Hido shared.