By FRED KRONER
Tim Culver is letting his past help shape his future.
The California native was a football and baseball player at Hilmar High School, east of San Jose.
The oldest of four sons, Culver was raised on an almond farm.
It was his other interests, however, that have helped to define his ultimate path in life.
“I was that kid in high school that was really involved in church at school,” Culver said. “I started a Christian club at school my junior year, and it grew to 65 students.”
Following his graduation, he went on a mission trip with stops in England, Hungary, Romania, Israel, Thailand and China.
When his traveling partners returned home, Culver said, “I stayed an extra month in Hong Kong and smuggled Bibles into the mainland. I was 18 years old.”
He eventually migrated from the West Coast to Florida, and then relocated to the Mahomet area when he learned about a need in his area of expertise.
“I heard about a church in Mahomet (Living Word Omega Message, which he still attends) that was in need of a plumber for irrigation purposes,” Culver said. “I came up for a summer and fell in love with the Midwest work ethic.”
He arrived in May, 2002, and hasn’t left.
He now operates Classic Plumbing Systems, Inc., but is interested in reaching out and having an impact beyond his Mahomet business.
Culver wants to make a difference locally.
“I want to encourage people to think outside of their own immediate needs,” he said “A lot of people fight for their hopes and dreams, but don’t go to bat for others.
“I don’t mean in the social justice sense. I mean in the neighborly sense. We get people in our community who would rather see change in Washington rather than change in the school hallways where they see someone bullied every day.”
Culver formulated a plan to recognize and honor deserving individuals in the 14-25 age group.
He calls it PLUMBER of the Month, but it has nothing to do with fixing faucets.
PLUMBER is an acronym standing for:
“We’re actively in search of these noble people who are helping neighbors and making a positive difference in the Mahomet area,” Culver said.
“They are the unsung heroes who make our world a more enjoyable place to be.”
Nominations are now open. The first selection will be announced in May.
Culver won’t be part of the team that picks the recipients. Those decisions will be made by the Mahomet Ministers Alliance.
“I want to have a healthy separation,” Culver said. “My influence cannot affect any of the voting.
“It’s long overdue. It’s important and meaningful to me because I think, at times, there is an over-emphasis on sports. They are not our only heroes.”
The individuals chosen for the recognition will be featured in a story published by the Mahomet Daily and will be presented an assortment of gift cards from various area businesses. Culver, who is still seeking additional sponsors, hopes the value will exceed $100, adding, “I’d like to provide gift cards that people will appreciate.”
For him as the major sponsor, it’s a win-win.
“As a business owner, I needed to get my name out there,” Culver said. “Advertising in a sense is spending money to keep people aware of us.
“I thought we could use those funds to let people know our business and also do some good.”
He had a reason for choosing the 14-25 age group.
“People in that age are in a pivotal moment in life,” Culver said. “Their minds are on starting their own life and they could use this (recognition) on a job application to show that they care about more than themselves and their own wants and needs.
“At times, we can be self-absorbed. A sports award can reinforce that, but if you are a person involved in donating your time, it speaks about your character.”
Culver speaks from experience.
For the first 3 1/2 years after he moved to Mahomet, “I donated my time,” at First Fruits, he said, “working six days a week.
“That was my personal decision to reach out to the community. Helping others is something I have always done.”
Since July 2013, Classic Plumbing has been at its current location, just past the intersection of Prairieview Rd. and Tincup Rd. on the northwest side. His business has been in operation since 2009.
Culver hopes the ministers will have a plethora of nominations to consider each month.
“I’d like to encourage people to start noticing people in our community who aren’t just focused on themselves,” he said. “To me, reaching out is very important.”
To find out more about the Classic Plumbing PLUMBER of the Month or to nominate a young adult visit http://mahometdaily.com/p-l-u-m-b-e-r-of-the-month/.