MERRILL - Bill Cortright sees opportunities, dreams, and a city with potential when he looks at Merrill.
Cortright grew up in Merrill and is now a motivational speaker. He went through a difficult childhood, grew up in an abusive household, and battled obesity. It's been at least 30 years since Cortright was last in the Northwoods.
"Some people might drive through downtown and say, 'Wow, this town is dying. Everything's closed. It's dying.' Me? I see, 'Oh my gosh, there's so much opportunity in here.' Look at how great this is," said Cortright.
He's a best-selling author, wellness specialist, and expert on stress management. On Monday, Cortright spent the day in Merrill sharing some of his messages with kids and adults.
"Why can't this be restructured to be a haven [or] a getaway, or why couldn't it be structured for people that want to build something but they don't want the stress of the city?" said Cortright.
Cortright visited the high school and held a book signing at the library on Monday. He also teamed up with Merrill's Friends of the River Bend Trail to raise money for the organization.