CARSON CITY — To many people, Mike McAlvey is the assistant pastor at First Baptist Church, a mentor with Carson City-Crystal Area Schools, a search and rescue team chaplain, a volunteer firefighter, a volunteer at Sparrow Carson Hospital and a myriad of other volunteer titles.
On Wednesday night, the community gathered to recognize McAlvey’s newest title: Carson City’s 2017 Citizen of the Year.
Before he accepted the award, his family and friends publicly attested to the kind of citizen McAlvey is.
Chuck Larkins, retired Carson City-Crystal Middle School principal and a friend of McAlvey’s for more than 25 years, talked about the times he spent with McAlvey and a few of the numerous ways he serves the community.
One memory Larkins recounted was when McAlvey volunteered for a triathlon with only a week to train.
“One of our good friends confronted him about it. He volunteered like he always does,” Larkins said. “After he got into it, he found out it was for special need students and that the special needs students needed to be pulled, pushed and towed in a boat.”
According to Larkins, McAlvey still finished in the middle of the group, despite only spending a week training.
Dave McAlvey, Mike McAlvey’s uncle and the 2009 Carson City Person of the Year, spoke about watching Mike grow from an infant to “a big guy with a tender heart.”
“He’s a community person,” Dave McAlvey said. “When I would visit the school, I would see him talking with kids, mentoring kids. They always seemed to really enjoy having him around.”
Alyssa Miller, Mike McAlvey’s eldest daughter, commended her father for always being there for her and talked about how he came whenever she called, taught her to have fun but not at someone else’s expense, allowed her to stay up as late as she wanted but told her to be ready to go the next morning and didn’t shy away from “mom duties.”
She also spoke about how her father’s faith played out in her own life and the lessons she learned from that.
“I am very thankful he has taught us to love God first, love people second and love myself third,” said Alyssa, while tearing up. “And he has taught me to love myself. It is extremely empowering to have a dad teach you to love yourself.”
When accepting the award, Mike thanked Alyssa along with her other children, Molly, Dalen and Riley for their influence in his life and told them how proud he is of them. Mike thanked his wife, Stacey, for spending 27 years with him and walking beside him and encouraging him and also expressed his gratitude to his extended family and friends in his life.
“If I’m to be recognized for something good and something honorable tonight, I would like that recognition to go to the one who actually did it and that’s Jesus Christ,” Mike McAlvey said. “Jesus Christ in my life is not a religion, it’s not something I do out of ritual.”
McAlvey said he was humbled and honored he was to be the Carson City Citizen of the Year and to be part of the community.
Along with the Citizen of the Year award, the Community Recognition Night awarded two seniors, Marissa Wing and Sirinda Ketchattratiyakul. Both girls were awarded as top academic seniors, and Wing received a $500 Edward F. Herald Scholarship.
The event also recognized two other citizen of the year nominees, Nancy Seals and Joan Sweet along with two community groups.
The Montcalm Teen Center was recognized for once again serving area teens after being closed for three years. The center is open from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays at 115 E. Main St. for seventh- to 12th-grade students.
“Our mission is to show the world God through the kids in our community,” Montcalm Teen Center Board Member Nancy Wilson said. “It’s just a fun, safe place for them to come.”
The other community group recognized was the Joey Prentler Scholarship, which was started by Tammy and Joe Prentler after their son Joey died while serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan in 2010.
“The scholarship is meant to help students who may not be able to attend college, and the military is their only choice,” said Laurie Sweet, who is involved with the scholarship group,.
The $1,500 scholarship will be given to a Carson City-Crystal High School graduate to be split between two years. A benefit to raise money for the scholarship is scheduled from 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday at American Legion Post 380, 121 Mercantile Road in Carson City.