Last year, 272 volunteers gave more than 20, 500 hours of service to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The Aquarium honored them for their dedication and their valuable contributions at a Jan. 23 awards ceremony. Volunteers daily provide visitors with assistance at the information desk, as exhibit interpreters, at the two touch pools and during events. Volunteer divers assist with dive programs and exhibit maintenance.
A few members of the force were singled out for special awards. Congratulations to the 2013 Volunteer of the Year, Gervase Motes of Newport, cited for serving extended stints as the costumed shark mascot, Friendly Finley, and filling a variety of other volunteer roles. Brian Balthrop of Newport earned the Order of the Spadefish Award for Excellence in Customer Service for his work four times weekly at the Information Desk.
Barbara Neptune and Nancy Aitken of Morehead City and Karen Naftzger of Emerald isle were recognized with Above and Beyond Awards for going beyond the call of duty.
Distinguished Volunteer Service awards went to Barbara Yankauskas and Jim Yankauskas of Pine Knoll Shores, Maggie Rauschenberg of Swansboro, Jeff Brown of New Bern, Tom Ruddiman of Cape Carteret, Sharon Lewis of Emerald Isle and Kaye Jones of Fredericksburg, VA.
Hubert Bowen was chosen as the 2013 Volunteer Diver of the Year and Jason Johnson as Volunteer Rookie Diver of the Year. The Wednesday A Team took the honors for Diver Team of the Year. Members include team leader Allan Lloyd and Warren Lloyd, Amanda Lloyd and Tom McNamara. See more photos.