2013 Volunteer Awards

(01-23-2014) Chris Carlin, standing, Gervase Motes, left, and Brian Balthorp

2013 Volunteer of the Year Gervase Motes, left, and Brian Balthrop, winner of the Order of the Spadefish Award for Excellence in Customer Service, with Aquarium Volunteer Coordinator Chris Carlin.

Last year, 272 volunteers logged more than 20,500 hours of service at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The Aquarium saluted 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,  for filling diverse positions, including extended stints as the costumed shark mascot, Friendly Finley. Brian Balthrop of Newport, who volunteers four times each week at the Information Desk, earned the Order of the Spadefish Award for Excellence in Customer Service.

(01-23-2014) Jason Johnson, Ethan Simmons, Hubert Bowen

2013 Rookie Diver of the Year Jason Johnson, at left, with Aquarium Dive Safety Officer Ethan Simmons and 2013 Diver of the Year Hubert Bowen

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 of Ayden was chosen as the 2013 Volunteer Diver of the Year and Jason Johnson of Cape Carteret 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 of Morehead City and Warren Lloyd of New Bern, Amanda Lloyd of Morehead City and Tom McNamara of Jacksonville.

(01-23-2014) NCA-PKS 2013 volunteer award-winners

Back row, l to r, Jason Johnson, Tom Ruddiman, Hubert Bowen, Kaye Jones, Barbara Neptune, Nancy Aitken, Maggie Rauschenberg, Sharon Lewis, Jeff Brown. Front row, Jim Yankauskas, Barbara Yankauskas, Karen Naftzger, Gervase Motes, Brian Balthrop. Not pictured: Alan Lloyd, Amanda Lloyd, Warren Lloyd, Tom McNamara.

Put yourself in the picture! Read more about volunteer opportunities  at the touch pools, information desk and interpretative carts, or contact Volunteer Coordinator Chris Carlin.  For information on becoming a volunteer diver, contact Dive Safety Officer Ethan Simmons.