Life Lessons From My Friend, Mike Hulvey

For Week 3 of the me sharing the wisdom shared with me series, I wanted to talk about my friend Mike. I previously mentioned Mike two weeks ago when I talked about my friend, Bob Kay and he’s absolutely worth mentioning today. I don’t remember the first time I met Mike. I remember moving to Danville in 1999 when I was 10 years old, and I don’t remember living in Danville and not knowing Mike, so there’s a pretty good chance it was pretty early after the move.

My clearest, early memories come from spending a week in Mike’s Sports Media Camp for Kids. Every summer, Mike, Scott Eisenhauer, Eric Westfall and others would spend a week with kids from around the community (and some from other states too). These kids got to talk with media professionals from around the world, including ESPN, professional sports teams, as well as some athletes too. The campers also had the opportunity to learn how to do play by play, write a news story, co-host a sports talk show and much more. Over time, I’d get to know Mike more. I worked at the radio station he managed through high school, and would spend most Saturday mornings with him and the other Saturday Morning Sports Talk Guys.

Mike and my mom also became great friends, Mom refers to Mike as the brother she never had. So our paths have intertwined for many years, and over the years I’ve picked up a few lessons.

  1. “March Fourth, B Positive”–If you know Mike, you know this is his personal motto….as well as his birthday, and blood type! Mike embodies his motto and his personality and positivity are contagious. For me, it’s easy to be a sarcastic curmudgeon, especially when times are tough. When writing, it’s very easy for me to get overly critical of myself and stop writing for days, weeks or even months. But when you (or I) get down, just remember to “March Forth, Be Positive”
  2. Dream Big, Then Do It–Mike was a 2017 inductee to the Danville High School Wall of Fame. I was honored to have been asked to co-introduce him, along with his daughter, Macey. The first (and best) part of my speech was blatantly plagiarized from the opening of Mike’s bio that now hangs in the hallway at DHS. It read’s “As you walk these hallways, know that anything is possible. You have an obligation to dream big, to see the future and make it so. If you took the time to read this, then keep working, don’t stop, and never give up. You’re from Danville High School, just look around, you can do anything!”
  3. Invest in the Future Generations–Mike’s Sports Media Camp for Kids is really, really awesome, but what’s even more awesome is what happens after the camp. Rather than seeing them off and waiting for a reunion a year later, Mike gives several students opportunities like none other. Opportunities like doing radio play by play for baseball games, sideline reporting for high school football, working part time at the radio station among many more. When I graduated and left my post as the radio station’s weekend help, another camper took my place, and another one after that. Hundreds of kids have gone through the camp in the nearly 30 years its existed, and Mike has given opportunities like this to so many of them. Not every kid had every opportunity, but every one of them had Mike actively rooting for all of them. He frequently tells stories about his campers and you can feel the pride in his words. Mike’s campers have got on to work in professional baseball, cover NCAA games for radio and print, host their own podcasts, and a couple even worked last year’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles. Mike’s been a big encourager for me personally with Super Penguin, and I’ve learned the best way to pay that back, is to pay it forward.

Thank you Mike for all that you do for our community and especially for our young people! March Fourth!

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