2018 Celebration of Volunteers

Earlier this month, Mystic Seaport Museum held its 20th Celebration of Volunteers.

Every year, Mystic Seaport Museum honors the work of its volunteers at a celebratory dinner and awards ceremony. The corps of more than 500 volunteers carry out a wide variety of jobs around the Museum and are active in almost every aspect of the operation. The following are those who were honored for 2018.

William C. Noyes Volunteer of the Year Award

The William C. Noyes Volunteer of the Year Award was established in 1998 through the generosity of Bill’s widow, Bettye, and donations received in Bill’s memory. The award is presented each year “to honor a Museum volunteer who best personifies Bill Noyes’ example and the ‘true spirit’ of a Mystic Seaport volunteer.” Bill, who was known for his friendly manner, his willingness to work, and his firm belief in the Golden Rule, gave freely of his time wherever he was needed the most. Between 1983 and 1997, he volunteered more than 6,000 hours in numerous departments, offering his services to any and all.

TOM AND TRACEY MIRSKY
Both Tom and Tracey have positive attitudes, warm senses of humor, and fierce dedication to Mystic Seaport Museum. Their genuine desire to help their fellow volunteers is an inspiration to all of those who work with them. They have an incredible can-do attitude in the tasks they undertake in many Museum departments regularly in the Visitor Reception Center, Membership and Exhibitions and most event venues in between. According to Ann Mauer from the Visitor Services team, “Both are well-informed, confident, friendly and courteous to our guests. What is most exceptional about this duo is that they are problem solvers – they gather information and make many helpful recommendations for improving the Museum experience. Whether suggesting improvements with our brochures and maps or reporting safety issues, they are tuned into the museum and simply make it a better place.” Gabe Gresko, Director of Visitor Services, also commented: “They are wonderful advocates of the Museum and truly worthy of this fine award.”

Special Recognition Awards: Volunteers

This award is presented to volunteers who have shown outstanding work, leadership, and skill in a specific area or department at Mystic Seaport Museum. 

Warren Dolphin
Chris Gasiorek, Vice President of Watercraft Preservation and Programs, presented the first Special Recognition Award to Warren, who has been volunteering at the Museum since 2013 and has logged in 1,380 hours. Warren is admired for his Traditional Tool Sharpening class that leaves a lasting impression on anyone hearing his presentation. Harry Smith stated: “There are people who can talk about sharpening stones that can only be obtained in the hills of Arkansas or oil from a particularly hard-to-find tropical nut harvest by a particular phase of the moon. In contrast, Warren plies his trade with sandpaper, old washing machine motors and plywood boxes and jigs of his own design. It seems to me that without these simple tools and his every Thursday volunteer session he provides to the Shipyard, the entire preservation effort might fail or become far less efficient.”

Dr. Paul Goodwin
Krystal Rose, Manager of Digital & Primary Source Education, presented the second Special Recognition Award to Paul Goodwin. Paul has been a steady and valuable volunteer researching and writing for Mystic Seaport Museum for its Educators website and for Exhibits since 2009, contributing more than 2,700 volunteer hours. Krystal Rose enthusiastically presented Paul with his award, noting the volume of work that is attributed to Paul. He has completed more than 100 individual research projects and on the museum website are 30-plus pieces published and being used by educators and students. Director of Exhibits Elysa Engleman has complimented him noting: “Paul has contributed his indomitable research skills, good humor and natural curiosity to benefit a range of exhibit projects including: Tugs!; the NEH funded planning grant for the Greenmanville Underground Railroad project; the Discovery Barn activity space, and SeaChange exhibit. …he unselfishly donates his time and expertise…”

Junior Volunteer of the Year

Executive VP and COO Susan Funk presented the Junior Volunteer of the Year Award to Liam Mullin. Liam has volunteered for the Education Department in the Mystic Seaport Museum Sailing Center since 2014 and has been an integral support for the Sailing Center on the water and off the water in summer and fall. Assistant Manager of Community Sailing Ben Ellcome noted: “…Liam has been dedicated, on time, and eager to share his love of the water and the museum with our students. We have the pleasure of working with many youth here, Liam has stood out in that crowd.”

Special Recognition Award: Staff

This award is presented to a staff member who has worked enthusiastically and efficiently with many Mystic Seaport Museum volunteers.

Jim McGuire
Laura Hopkins, Senior VP of Advancement, presented the Staff Special Recognition Award to Jim McGuire. Jim, Supervisor of Boathouse Volunteers, was nominated by his colleagues and Boathouse volunteer crew, who state that “Jim’s good nature, wry sense of humor and love of wooden boats underlies the standard for the crew. His ability to develop camaraderie among us keeps us coming back week after week and year after year. Jim sets very high standards for the work he supervises. Jim knows what the wooden boats deserve and passes on the respect and admiration for the boats to his team. He values the heritage of wood boat building traditions and the fine standards that go along with this tradition and he passes this on by his actions.” He is highly respected and admired by his Boathouse team.