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Cincinnati Museum Center honors volunteers

Volunteers contributed over 73,000 to Museum Center in 2013

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center honored its more than 550 volunteers at a special banquet Tuesday night.The 23rd Annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet coincided with National Volunteer Week and gave Museum Center an opportunity to celebrate the heart of the institution.

Cincinnati Museum Center honors volunteersThe Volunteer Appreciation Banquet was a tropical-themed celebration with over 200 in attendance, recognizing the heart, spirit and generosity of Cincinnati Museum Center’s volunteers. In total, volunteers contributed over 73,000 hours to Cincinnati Museum Center in various capacities. Those volunteers have served as the smiling face guests see through the museums, the steady hands carefully piecing together prehistoric pottery and dinosaur bones and captivating tour guides that lead guests on tours of the abandoned subway system and historic homes of Cincinnati.

“Our volunteers enrich every department of Museum Center,” says Douglass McDonald, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “The sheer diversity of their efforts is staggering.”

One of the highlights of the evening was the Pinnacle Award, given to Barbara Jennings who volunteered 1,371 hours last year for Museum Center’s Cincinnati Heritage Programs. Over 73,000 total hours were volunteered at Cincinnati Museum Center last year which, according to the federal dollar value assigned to volunteer hours, provided nearly $1.6 million worth of service. The dollar value pales in comparison to the true value of those hours.

“What our volunteers give us in terms of their time and heart is priceless,” says McDonald. “They drive us all to be more generous, to work as hard as we can, to love what we do and to share a love of learning and knowledge.”
Several volunteers were also recognized for the many years they’ve dedicated to Cincinnati Museum Center. Helen Black, a volunteer at the Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve, received a standing ovation for her 50 years of service. Her friend Cathy Chapman, also a volunteer at the Edge of Appalachia, was close behind with 40 years. Harley Piltingsrud has been instrumental in the maintenance and care of the E.M. Skinner Symphonic Organ at Cincinnati Museum Center and was applauded for the 23,500 hours he has volunteered in that capacity.

The evening of celebration also featured the announcement of three nominees for the Tourism Council of Greater Cincinnati’s ROSE Award. The ROSE Awards, which stands for Recognition of Service Excellence, are distributed annually to those volunteers and paid employees who go above and beyond the line of duty in assisting guests at local hotel and attractions. Three Museum Center volunteers, Bruce Bishop, Gerald Pfarner and Lee Schmidt, were honored as nominees for this year’s ROSE Awards, which will take place on April 24.

For more information on how you can become involved in volunteering at Cincinnati Museum Center visit To learn more about National Volunteer Week please visit