The Mike Darby Prospector of the Year Award

Mike Darby

Inaugural Recipient of The Mike Darby Prospector of the Year Award

On May 18th 2017, the day started as normal for most of us with our weekly Prospector’s Club breakfast meeting. Shortly after the meeting, word started circulating that something tragic had happened to our great friend, Mike Darby! As it turns out, we lost Mike to a tragic and senseless crime.

In the weeks following, we as a group searched for a way to best honor Mike. We couldn’t seem to find just the right way to honor Mike and what he meant to all of us. With the guidance and support of the 2017 and 2018 Prospectors Board, along with some of Mike’s closest friends within the group, we have created a new way to honor those who have profoundly impacted our club. Mike Darby becomes our inaugural recipient of The Mike Darby Prospector of the Year Award.

In Mike’s honor, we asked one of his oldest and dearest friends, Dan Holk, to author Mike’s history in the Prospector’s Club. Dan has known Mike for over 30 years and can take credit for introducing Mike to the Club. The detailed Mike Darby story may be viewed by clicking on the following link. With Mike’s entry into The Mike Darby Prospector of the Year Award program, we hope it will serve as a reminder to us all of what it takes to be a great Prospector!

It’s not coincidence that the Club has done nothing but grow and thrive since Mike joined. Membership was in the low 20’s and has been in the mid to upper 50’s for the last few years. Mike was a unifying force who could bring people together for a greater common good. Mike provided food, venues, time, and immeasurable energy to Club events and to members who organized charity events. Mike was tenacious in everything he did from endurance events to poker games and even simple yard games –he hated to lose! His loyalty to the Prospector’s Club and its members is unprecedented as he worked and endorsed our businesses at every opportunity. He was ferociously loyal to his family, his beloved dogs, his employees, his sports teams (MIZ..) and, his friends.

Mike actively supported the various charities within the Club and was always willing to participate in some fashion. He was a beacon of hope for the underprivileged, the downtrodden, the cancer stricken, homeless animals, and much more. He even started his own charity, The Tour De Hope, with fellow Prospector, Keith Steiniger. It comes as no surprise that the Tour De Hope continues to serve our local community.

Last but certainly not least, Mike always wanted to make things fun! It didn’t matter if there was three feet of water in another flood at Coach’s or bringing his unique levity at our annual white elephant Christmas gift exchange. One thing for sure, Mike wanted people to have fun, even if it was at the expense of an unsuspecting innocent bystander. Sharing the countless number of fun stories about Mike and his shenanigans is just one of the many ways we honor Mike!

Mike’s legacy in the Prospector’s Club will, no doubt, remain timeless! His selfless approach to business and life, along with his innate ability to unite those around him to better serve those in need will inspire us all to “Live Like Mike!”

In the words of the famous American Author, Albert Paine, “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains, and is immortal.”