Mallory credits ‘army of people,’ surprised by award

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, November 4, 2017
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Citizen of the Year 2

The Mallorys are joined by Kimberly Bloomer, Melissa Warner, Christie Rhine and Ali Shields. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Dr. Dan Mallory is not easy to surprise, at least according to his wife, Allison. But he was surprised to be named Decatur’s Citizen of the Year last Saturday at the Chamber of Commerce banquet.

Mallory, who actually tried to skip the banquet to go camping with his son, was honored for his work organizing Live Thankfully, a program that provides food for families in December.

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – Dan and Allison Mallory celebrate Dan Mallory’s Citizen of the Year award from the Decatur Chamber of Commerce. The chamber honored Mallory at its annual awards banquet last Saturday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“You never really feel like you deserve that,” Mallory said. “I have a whole army of people helping me.”

Mallory and his family moved to Decatur in 2005, where he set up his orthodontist office. He’s been involved in the community in various ways since – as a Boy Scout troopmaster, a board member of Wise Christian Counseling and an active member of CrossRoads Church. What he’s best known for though, is Live Thankfully, which was actually founded by his friend John Kelly in 2012. Mallory helped Kelly pass out food that first year from his office in Fort Worth, and Kelly convinced him to bring the program to Wise County.

“They do theirs at Thanksgiving, and we do ours at Christmas. WARM does a great Thanksgiving, and we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel,” Mallory said. “I thought ‘what would fit in Decatur?'”

In 2013, the Mallorys organized Live Thankfully very quickly, passing out food to families of Carson Elementary students. Mallory said it made Allison a little nervous to start the program without much planning, but he wanted to get the ball rolling.

“My tendency is to jump in with both feet and go from there,” he said.

Live Thankfully grew year by year, from just partnering with Carson to all the Decatur elementary schools, then all Decatur schools, then other schools in Wise County. Last year, they passed out 1,340 bags of food to more than 250 families, supported by the donations of 100 local organizations.

This year, Live Thankfully kicks off Nov. 27, and local businesses will start accepting donations at that time. The packaging party is 5 p.m. Dec. 10 in Decatur ISD’s multipurpose building.

“My main push on this is to get the opportunity in front of folks,” Mallory said. “It gives an avenue for people to work together, not just within their own group.”

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