New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Awards 2004
Recognizing Those Committed to Making a Difference
Kevin McGarth
Mr. McGrath moved to Las Cruces when he was 10 years old. He began his career in the food industry right out of high school. Kevin managed different Burger Time restaurants for seven years and became responsible for the Burger Time locations throughout southern New Mexico. He eventually became partners with the owner, and when the owner passed away Kevin purchased full ownership.
Currently Kevin is a member of several organizations including the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, the Hispano Chamber of Commerce de Las Cruces and the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance. He also serves on the board of the Las Cruces Catholic Schools.
Over the past 30 years, Kevin has generously donated his time, energy and funding to numerous local organizations in Las Cruces. In 1993 he established the Burger Time High School Football Celebrity Golf Tournament renamed the Burger Time/Sandra B. McGrath Celebrity Golf Tournament after Mrs. McGrath passed away from cancer in 2003. When the tournament started, they raised about $5000 for each of the three local high schools. This year the tournament raised $150,000. part of which is saved in an endowment to secure the future of the schools athletic programs.
Senator Mary Jane Garcia said, "Kevin exemplifies the term 'public service' in so many different ways. The thing that impresses me about Kevin is his willingness to donate hours of his time to help raise monies for so many needy organizations in Las Cruces."
In addition to sponsoring the golf tournament, over the past decade Kevin has been an active member of the school district's Blue Ribbon Committee, a citizens' based committee which successfully lobbied the community to support the passage of three bond issues, bringing more than $100 million dollars to the school system for classroom construction and renovations.
He was also instrumental in coordinating the long-term community based effort to build the first sports activities complex in Las Cruces. The "Field of Dreams" is now a reality.
Bill Flores, New Mexico State University Provost puts it well in saying "Kevin is truly one of our most important heroes in Las Cruces."