John Malo (2014 picture)

The Volunteer of the year for 1995 is John Malo.

Mira Mesa Town Council Volunteer of the Year John Malo seemed to be everywhere at this year’s (1995) rainy “I Love Mira Mesa Day” at the Mira Mesa Mall. As president of the Mira Mesa Community Fourth of July Committee, Malo spent a large part of the day at the Fourth of July Committee table, collecting donations to help pay for the fireworks show and giving information about plans for this year’s festivities, including the parade and Family Fun carnival. Taking off his Fourth of July Committee jacket, Malo was ready in his volunteer uniform as a member of the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) to join other licensed amateur radio operators in guiding “I Love Mira Mesa Day” visitors through a tour of the RACES van. The mobile communications center, maintained by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Planning Detail, contains two-way amateur radio equipment operated by the volunteers to help relay information from the field in emergency situations such as floods, earthquakes or search-and-rescue missions.

When not on duty at the Fourth of July or RACES exhibits, Malo found time to take part in the “I Love Mira Mesa Day” opening ceremonies and visit with fellow volunteers and community leaders at tables with information about other community groups and projects with which he also has been involved. These include the Mira Mesa Town Council’s many activities and Harmonium’s ongoing effort to plan the future Teen Center and Mira Mesa Civic Center complex for the old Mira Mesa library building and surrounding park area. Once again, at this year’s “I Love Mira Mesa Day” John Malo demonstrated the energy, enthusiasm and longstanding commitment to the community that led Mira Mesa Town Council members to vote in April to name Malo 1995 Mira Mesa Volunteer of the Year.

John Malo has been active with the Mira Mesa Town Council for 9 years, three years as Parliamentarian and a year as First Vice President. John has volunteered on the MMTC’s “I Love Mira Mesa Day” committee, the Halloween Carnival committee, the By-law Revision Committee, Mira Mesa Clean & Green Day, Community Fund Committee involving planning for the Teen/Community Center and the Traffic & Safety Committee. John is currently serving his second year as President of the Mira Mesa Fourth of July Committee and has helped on Fourth of July sub-committees such as Casino Night, Parade, and Communications for the past 8 years. He also served as the Fourth of July Committee Treasurer for two years.

John has served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Team Leader, District Leader Training Staff and Merit Badge Counselor with Boy Scouts in the late 1980’s. He has also volunteered on the Ericson, Wangenheim, Challenger Junior High and Mira Mesa High School PTA boards. He helped with MMHS’s Cheerleading Boosters and as chaperone for Grad Nights at the high school.

John’s involvement as an amateur radio operator with the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) has also become a major volunteer activity, providing emergency communication to the Red Cross, Fourth of July, MMHS Band Tournament and many other community functions as well as emergency drills. John participated in the Red Cross communications during the January 1993 floods.

John and Dorothy Malo have lived in Mira Mesa since April 1975, when they moved here while John was in the Navy, Dorothy coming here from Texas and John coming from a tour of duty in Bangkok, Thailand. Their five children have all attended Mira Mesa schools, from Ericson Elementary School through Wangenheim and Challenger Junior Highs and Mira Mesa High School. Their daughter, now Julie Ann Hillman, and her husband, Larry, live in Mira Mesa, as do son John, Jr. and his wife, Mary. John and Dorothy became grandparents last November 22 when son Brian and his wife, Jo Jo, who live in Carmel Mountain Ranch, had a baby girl, Marissa. Son David is completing his sophomore year at Mesa College and will transfer to San Diego State University as a junior this fall. John and Dorothy’s youngest son, Joshua, is completing eighth grade at Challenger Junior High and will be a freshman at Mira Mesa High School in September. John’s mother, Esther Malo, now also lives with John and Dorothy.

John Malo stayed in the Navy until 1984, with his last tour of duty an assignment at the Naval Oceans Systems Center (NOSC). By profession John Malo is now a Senior Systems Scientist with Computer Sciences Corporation, a military communications expert who works on completing access lines from one set of communications to another. This is a job that takes him out of town on business a fair amount of the time, something that can be difficult to reconcile with the meetings and projects in the schedule of an active community volunteer (not to mention its impact on family life!). Although he has occasionally expressed frustration at not having as much time as he would like, John manages to stay very involved. Fellow volunteers who know him well appreciate his ideas, his energy, his sense of humor, his technical expertise in amateur radio communications, and his willingness to do whatever is needed, from the momentous (for example, taking an active part in all the planning workshops for the Teen Center/Civic Center complex) to the mundane (jumping up and down on top of the dumpsters at Mira Mesa Clean & Green Day to tamp down the trash and make a little room for more things to be turned in!)