Last evening I attended the Museum of Flight Volunteer Recognition Dinner. Don was intending to go with me. However, since he is “essential” during the Government Shutdown, he cannot take any leave. In order to get there on time, he’d have had to take some leave.
After I found a seat with some volunteers from my shift, I went in search of a sketch. For the Urban Sketchers’ weekly theme of “cars”, I was going to do the 1930’s car on display upstairs. However, another volunteer and fellow sketcher suggested the flying car!
Taylor Aerocar III was a “roadable” airplane certified for use as both a plane and an automobile. The prototype was completed in 1949 but not certified by the Civil Aeronautics Administration until 1956.
I don’t know my current total, but I received my 200 hour pin, which is the first level of recognition. There were more gifts and SWAG: a scarf (with a Ford logo), the volunteer hours certificate, a complimentary entry for 2 at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island and a T shirt from the store (off the table of a number of items, presumed extras that didn’t sell).
Some statistics from the opening talk by Doug King, the CEO: In 2012 there were a record 94,000 volunteer hours donated, the equivalent of 47 full time employees….where the museum only has 124 staff. This year, 2013, we have already, as of end of September, broken that record and are at 95,115 hours.
The highest number of volunteer hours officially recognized is a cumulative 7,500 hours. There was only one volunteer at that level. At 2,400 hours the volunteer is recognized with a “Barnstormer Award” and a lifetime membership to the Museum. This year there were 17. However, people keep right on working. There were 9 men recognized with cumulative totals over 7,500. The most was 19,555!
It required 2 frames to take in all the volunteers at tables in “the well” of the Great Gallery.
Mr. King talked about one of the Museum’s goals is the inspiration of young people to enter science and technology education and careers. To that end, 153,000 young people attended Museum education events in 2012! There are even more the year. “Inspiration Begins Here” indeed! That’s a new slogan and I like it.