Residents honored for contributions
June 26, 2007
While each finalist for the Community Awards came with a troupe of supporters, Jeremy McCulley appeared to be a crowd favorite, based on applause from the audience.
At 22, McCulley graduated from Carson High School on June 9, a bit older than his peers. The delay, he explained, happened because he “fell in with the wrong crowd.”
McCulley, the Student of the Year recipient, is proof of how much determination matters. The graduate admitted he gained his degree to set a positive example for his siblings. He earned his diploma despite working full-time for Calculated Industries.
More than 300 residents turned out for the awards ceremony, a record-breaking attendance, according to Nevada Appeal Publisher John DiMambro.
“I think that means so much for the community that we reside in,” said DiMambro, who presented the awards alongside first lady Dawn Gibbons.
Had room capacity allowed, as many as 400 would have attended, DiMambro estimated.
Recommended Stories For You
Although time limitations did not allow the winners to give speeches at the ceremony, Gibbons made of a point of asking Mentor of the Year Lee Radtke to be the exception. Radtke lost his voice to throat cancer a year ago, and has since learned to speak with the help of a digital voice box.
He now gives presentations to Carson City students on the dangers of smoking. His own illness was likely caused by second-hand smoke.
“I’m kind of overwhelmed,” Radtke said, with tears in his eyes. And although receiving the award means a great deal to him, he added, “My main reward is the kids, their interest.”
Chris Bayer, who won for Citizen of the Year, used the ceremony as another forum to raise awareness for the organization he directs, Court Appointed Special Advocates, which appoints advocates to children going through the court process.
“Anything that helps bring attention to the CASA organization” helps, said Bayer after the ceremony. He said he was “surprised, flattered and grateful” to receive the award.
Louie Muratore, Boss of the Year, said receiving the honor “is a great way to end my career.” Muratore retires July 2.
“It’s just wonderful,” Muratore said. “I’m just floored.”
Other award recipients were: Public Servant Ð Ron Pierini and Helaine Jesse; Humanitarian Ð Ray Sidney; Organization Ð Carson Auxiliary of the Fraternal Order of Eagles; Athlete Ð D.J. Whittemore; Educator Ð Pat Quinn-Davis; Heritage Ð Jed Block; Employee Ð Susie Bendure; and Artist Ð Pat Holub.