Four Rivers and Partners Celebrate Our Volunteers

Apr 24 2020

Four Rivers and Partners Celebrate Our Volunteers

Celebrate Volunteers for National Volunteer Week This week is National Volunteer Week, an opportunity to recognize and honor the countless individuals who selflessly invest in the lives of others. The time and talents that volunteers contribute to our organizations are beyond invaluable. We wouldn’t  be able to fulfill our missions without them! As examples of our gratitude, here are a few ways some of our volunteers have been celebrated in the Four Rivers Heritage Area. 

Thank you to all of our volunteers!

Four Rivers Heritage Area

To start, Four Rivers thanks our many volunteers who join with us for our programs and planning work. Our active advisory groups and committees include our Board of Directors, our Coordinating Council, our Education Committee, our Marketing Committee, our Grant Review Committees, and the many enthusiastic partners who make up the Maryland Day Planning Committee each year. To our volunteers who give so much of your time and expertise, please know that you are appreciated, this week and every week!

Story Project

Through the Four Rivers Heritage: Story Project, we are able to tell the powerful stories of the volunteers who work at our heritage sites, to discover how and why they do what they do, knowing that our history is critical to understanding our future.

Featured volunteers include:

Dottie Byerly – a volunteer at the Hammond-Harwood House, a historic site in downtown Annapolis where her mom happened to be raised as a baby.

Bob Stevenson – a volunteer at the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark and icon that is actually located in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.

Jim Cheevers – the former curator of the US Naval Academy Museum, for 50 years. He oversaw countless exhibits and installations involving US Naval history including the famous “Dont Give Up The Ship” flag.

Gertrude Makell – the Director of Galesville Community Center, and one of the first students to voluntarily integrate Southern High School when she was a teenager in South County Maryland.

The volunteers of Historic Annapolis’s Hogshead – an interactive, hands-on museum and historic landmark, offering visitors the opportunity to experience what life was like during the 1700s in Annapolis. Hogshead visitors will see, hear, and touch what life entailed for frontiersmen, colonial doctors, soldiers in the Revolutionary War, and enslaved or indentured workers.

Annual Heritage Awards — Volunteers of the Year

We’d also like to acknowledge this year’s awardees at our annual Heritage Awards in the category of Volunteer of the Year. This award recognizes an outstanding volunteer who has made a significant difference to the growth, sustainability, programming, or other essential element of a non-profit or for-profit heritage organization.

This year’s co-honorees were Craig Biggs and Dennis Krizek of the Annapolis Maritime Museum, for their hundreds of hours of service overseeing extensive restoration efforts for the historic skipjack, the Wilma Lee, which the museum is restoring and preparing for educational programs beginning next spring.

Historic Annapolis

HA’s volunteers are an integral part in the success of their public programs, special events, and daily operations. To celebrate National Volunteer Week, they highlighted volunteers on the Historic Annapolis Facebook page with #VolunteerVoices, allowing volunteers to share their experiences and passions with HA’s social media followers.

Featured volunteers include:

Lynn Stephens – a docent at the William Paca House, a five-part Georgian mansion built in the 1760s by William Paca, one of Maryland’s four Signers of the Declaration of Independence and the state’s third Governor.

Joe Cook – a living history interpreter who portrays Jubb Fowler, a local town carpenter and just one of the many wonderful tradespeople of the 18th century.

Historic London Town and Gardens

Historic London Town and Gardens profiled two of their amazing history volunteers. The volunteers at London Town give their time and talent freely to explore, preserve, and interpret the history of one of Maryland’s earliest seaports and roughly 10 acres of woodland and ornamental gardens.

Featured volunteers include:

Verne Oland – a docent at the Brown House with occasional forays through the historic area. The William Brown House is the crown jewel of London Town’s historic area, originally built in c.1760 as an upscale tavern, it became the county’s almshouse from 1828 – 1965.

Lynn Clark – a volunteer in the William Brown House and the Historic Area. Lynn also leads group tours, stuff envelopes, and help prepare for the Privateer Party, London Town’s annual pirate-inspired fundraiser.

London Town also provided the public with a chance to sign a virtual thank you card to all of their volunteers!

But volunteer engagement doesn’t end with National Volunteer Week. In order to keep their volunteers informed, London Town’s Executive Director, Rod Cofield, will host a Virtual Video Chat next week for members and volunteers in order to answer questions and provide an update on the status of London Town. The virtual chat is on Wednesday, April 29 at 12:00 pm via Zoom. If you miss the chat, don’t worry, they’ll record it and share afterwards.

Did we miss your organization’s efforts? If your organization found a way to virtually celebrate your volunteers this week, let us know! And if you are a prospective volunteer interested in new opportunities, learn about organizations currently looking for virtual volunteers.