Charlie Mayton says he’s surprised at the amount of support he received in Patch’s Person of the Year poll.
Mayton, a father of three from Aurora, was one of five nominees for the award. He put out a call on Facebook for votes, and man, did he get them—Mayton ended up with 586 votes, or 88 percent of the total, in our unscientific poll.
“I’m humbled, shocked and honored,” he said.
It’s proof that Mayton has a lot of friends, which is further testament to his character. Mayton’s two sons (Andrew, 12, and Matthew, 9) are involved in Scouting. (He also has a daughter, Elizabeth, 17.) For four years, Mayton has volunteered a lot of time to that organization. He’s the cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 643, and the assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 81.
Mayton was a Scout himself growing up, and he says scouting helps them learn how to work through real-life problems. As a scoutmaster, he said, he often steps back and lets the boys discover their own solutions to difficulties they encounter, which is an important life skill.
Sometimes, Mayton’s volunteer efforts grow beyond what he originally intended, into something bigger and better. That’s the case with his work as a school dance DJ, an idea that came to him spontaneously.
“It started out small,” he said. “One of the kids’ school (dances) had a boom box, and I thought, I could do better.”
So he did. He went out and bought DJ equipment and volunteered his services to the school. And over the years, he kept buying new equipment – lighting gear, speakers, more music. Now, he says, professional karaoke companies ask him to borrow some of his stuff.
But Mayton doesn’t make any money off his investment. He still volunteers for school dances—he’s been a DJ at Nicholson Elementary School in Montgomery, and Gates Elementary School, Cowherd Middle School and St. Peter’s School in Aurora. He does it, he says, because the kids love it.
“Life is tough, the economy is bad,” he said. “When the kids have a special event like that, I want them to remember it.”
Mayton was nominated for Person of the Year by his wife, Jennifer. She says he’s always committed to making sure his endeavors result in great experiences for the kids, whether they be his own, or those in his Scout pack and troop, or those at the dances he volunteers for.
“Anything Charlie does, he puts his heart and soul into,” she said.
Mayton also organizes a regular musical gathering at Rivers Edge Cafe in Aurora called Uke Up and Smell the Coffee, which he expects to continue on a bi-monthly basis in 2012.
Mayton said he is honored to be named Person of the Year, but wants to be sure some of that honor goes to his fellow nominees, particularly the two veterans who placed second and third.
Clarence Bark of Montgomery came in second with 34 votes. Bark, a World War II veteran, just retired from the Montgomery Plan Commission after 32 years of service. He was also the Grand Marshal in the Montgomery Fest parade this year.
Herschel Luckinbill of Montgomery scored third, with 33 votes. Luckinbill, a veteran himself, is a tireless volunteer for area vets, working with Honor Flight Chicago, an organization that brings veterans to Washington, D.C. for free. He also helps organize the veterans breakfast at Grandma’s Table.
Also nominated were Mike Gonzalez, a frequent volunteer at Boulder Hill Elementary School, and Melanie Doherty, vice president of the Allen Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization and a volunteer with Community Christian Church.