Lake Havasu Marine Association President Jim Salscheider on Wednesday, September 13, announced that the Marine Association had been named “Organization of the Year” by the Arizona Game and Fish Department for its efforts on the lake. In each of those efforts, however, one volunteer was ever present.
Havasu resident and longtime volunteer of the Lake Havasu Marine Association Bill Mackey was on Wednesday named the organization’s “Volunteer of the Decade.”
Mackey has been with the Lake Havasu Marine Association since its beginnings in 2008, leading efforts by the association to maintain boating rights and to make Havasu’s boating experience more enjoyable for the hundreds of thousands of visitors who venture to Lake Havasu City each year.
“He’s our volunteer of the decade,” Salscheider said. “From the very beginning, he was one of the main men in the marine association. He’s a retiree who wanted to give back, and he’s been willing to devote himself to it.”
Mackey aided the Marine Association in coordinating efforts with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, gathered the first volunteers for Havasu’s “Boat Registration Program” with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and he wrote the Marine Association’s buoy manual. He’s had a hand in dozens of achievements and efforts by the Association, including the creation of Havasu’s “Sand and Water Expo,” which has become one of the largest boat shows in the Southwestern U.S.
Mackey has been named the Marine Association’s “Volunteer of the Year” several times previously, and in 2016 was named the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s national “Volunteer of the Year.” According to Havasu BLM Manager Jason West, Mackey has earned the distinction.
“A lot of times, people tend to look for certain qualities in a partner,” West said. “Sometimes you get a friend, and that’s what Bill is. We recognize him the only way the government can – with an award. We thank (Mackey) for what he’s done for boaters, the BLM and people on the lake.”
Mackey, 73, is expected to retire from volunteering after a recent medical procedure.
“It’s an honor, being able to have this recognition,” Mackey said. “And (Salscheider) thought I was a good enough volunteer to have an award named after me.”
The “Bill Mackey Volunteer of the Year Award” was on Wednesday night given to volunteer Alan Oleson.
• By BRANDON MESSICK Today’s News-Herald, September 14, 2017