It’s safe to say that our volunteers are the backbone of the Aquarium. They impact every department, from educating visitors at the touch pools and in the STAR Center to cleaning the Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit. Last week, their work was recognized during a luncheon, thanking them for 12,191 hours donated in 2017.
Two volunteers were given special accolades. Fred Bamonte, who recently retired from volunteering after nearly two decades, received the Volunteer Certificate of Appreciation, while Rich Pighinni was recognized as Volunteer of the Year. Many of Rich’s 406 volunteer hours last year were spent helping education staff with programming. It was normal to see Rich hosting a Creature Feature, teaching visitors about the important role snakes and other animals have in their environments.