Each year, the Rotary Club of Mercer Island is pleased to recognize and honor a volunteer whose passion, commitment and unselfish devotion extends far beyond the call of duty. The 2015 Race Volunteer of the Year Award pays tribute to Mercer Island Rotarian Tom Castor who embodied the true spirit of volunteerism at its best.
Tom Castor was very active in Rotary and helped in many areas. He was the definition of a true Rotarian. His commitment to Service Above Self was evident in all he did for the club and his community. Tom and his ever-present smile and good cheer are sorely missed.
Tom was the Rotary Club of Mercer Island’s photographer and historian. He kept records of the many activities and projects of the club. He was also a big part of the meeting logistics every Tuesday.
But Tom’s biggest role was as an integral part of the Mercer Island Half Marathon committee. Tom was always willing to step up and do more than his part to make the “Half” a better and safer event. In his role as Course Marshal Coordinator he was hugely instrumental in recruiting and organizing the 125 marshals to staff the three courses.
Tom took this position from a concept in its infancy and made it a fully functional part of the event. For months in advance of the event he worked with six section leaders, including the Lions Club to make the event a safer and more enjoyable event for thousands of participants every year. On the day of the event he traveled the course making sure everything went off smoothly and that any runners who needed aid got it in a timely manner. He often gave exhausted runners a ride back to the race center.
During the preparations for the 2014 event, when he was very ill, he continued to help however he could. At the 2014 event when he was extremely ill, he insisted on working the course as a marshal. His wife Louise brought him a chair and hot chocolate and he worked as long as he could. His commitment to the event, the club, and service was a very serious matter to him. His shoes will be extremely difficult to fill.
Tom passed away on Friday, May 16, 2014 less than two months after the 2014 Half Marathon. We honor Tom’s years of service to the Rotary Club of Mercer Island and Mercer Island Half with the Tom Castor Memorial Finish Line.