Mendendall named Citizen of the Year

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Rotary Club Citizen of the Year Mark Mendenhall waves following his speech at the Rotary meeting Thursday.
Nick Wright

Mark Mendenhall was named the Nevada Rotary Club’s Citizen of the Year at their lunch meeting, Thursday.

“This award has been given since 1964,” said Rotarian Carol Branham. “Because that award we always felt was very important to our community.”

She explained volunteers are honored for their efforts and demonstrated creativity, vision, leadership and citizenship. “And doing service for programs and activities that positively impact our community,” she said.

Last year’s Citizen of the Year, Tom Schmidt, left, presents Mendenhall with his award.
Nick Wright

“Today we are honoring someone that is unique, no stranger to any of us,” Branham said.

Tom Schmidt, last year’s Citizen of the Year, presented Mendenhall with the award.

Branham started off reading remarks from Mike Turnbill who could not attend.

“Mark is such a great asset to this community, he is heavily involved in the Elks Lodge … he works with Bingo, he’s helped out with the Veteran’s Committee, and doing things for the veteran’s home. The Christmas basket program, the Thanksgiving baskets,” she began. “He’s very active in the Methodist Church, he’s a past announcer at the speedway.”

“And I could just go on and on,” she said. “There are four pages here listing out things about Mark Mendenhall … there are lots of good things we can say, but I want to give time to some special guests that we invited today.”

Speaking on behalf of Wilkinson Pharmacy Tim Moore said, “Mark is there every day … There’s nothing that we ask Mark to do that he doesn’t do.”

Moore added that Mendenhall is a true friend to everyone he meets.

“From a personal standpoint … he gave my boys their first job mowing his yard,” he said. “I’m very honored to be here to speak on behalf of the employee side of it.”

Sharon Freeman, the pastor of the United Methodist Church, took the podium next.

“I’ve known Mark a little over two years and in that time it’s been such a joy for me to see the hospitality he has, and the love he has,” she said. “He always has an encouraging word, a beautiful smile, and he has mentored several young people.”

She concluded, “Mark congratulations, I’m so proud of you.”

Exalted Ruler Byron Williams of the Elks Lodge told he was asked to say a “couple words” and to him that means two, and he thought all night long.

“But I could only think of one word, and that’s giving,” he said. “He constantly gives; where ever he’s at, whatever he does.”

“I was told many years ago, there’s two kinds of people and that’s givers and takers,” he wrapped up. “And obviously he’s a giver.”

Dr. Jason Meisenheimer started his comments with a hearty yell of congratulations.

He spoke at length on Mendenhall’s contributions to Nevada little league.

“I congratulate Mark today, and also thank the Rotary Club of Nevada for recognizing one of the greatest assets to our community.”

Branham wrapped up with letters from two who were not able to attend before handing the podium over to Mendenhall.

“This is a total shock,” began Mendenhall. “I want to thank the Rotary Club … I didn’t have a clue … I’d like to thank all the kind words and being voted Citizen of the Year. I have a big heart, I like donating my time, I like the kids. I’m born and raised Nevada … I’m Nevada proud.”

“I want to thank each and every one of you. I could not be more happy, proud,” said an emotional Mendenhall before the crowd began a standing ovation.

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