Cincinnati Museum Center celebrates volunteers

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center honored its more than 700 volunteers at a special banquet Wednesday night. The 24th Annual Volunteer Appreciate Banquet followed on the heels of National Volunteer Week, concluding a week of Cincinnati Museum Center celebrating the volunteers who are the heart of the institution.

The Volunteer Appreciation Banquet was a super hero-themed celebration with over 175 in attendance, recognizing the heart, spirit and generosity of Cincinnati Museum Center’s volunteers. In total, 717 volunteers contributed more than 65,000 hours in various capacities. Those volunteers have served as the smiling faces guests see throughout the museums, the steady hands carefully piecing together prehistoric pottery and dinosaur bones and the captivating tour guides that lead guests on tours of the abandoned subway system and historic homes of Cincinnati.

“We couldn’t do what we do here without our volunteers,” says Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “The depth of their commitment and the sheer diversity of their efforts is staggering.”

One of the highlights of the evening was the Pinnacle Award, given to Stanley Hedeen, former dean of arts and sciences at Xavier University who volunteered just short of 1,100 hours last year at Museum Center’s Geier Collections & Research Center. His volunteer hours were just a portion of the over 65,000 contributed last year which, according to the federal dollar value assigned to volunteer hours, provided nearly $1.5 million worth of service. The dollar value pales in comparison to the true value of those hours.

“Everyone who has ever had a unique or incredible experience at Cincinnati Museum Center owes it in some way to one of our incredible volunteers,” says Pierce. “Our volunteers inspire us all to work harder, to be more generous, to love what we do and to share a love of learning and knowledge.”

Several volunteers were recognized for the many years they’ve dedicated to Cincinnati Museum Center. Joyce Graeter and Phyllis Crawford received a standing ovation for their 30 years of service working in special exhibits and Heritage Programs, respectively. John Ferner, a volunteer research associate who works remotely from Arizona, wasn’t far behind with over 25 years of service. Ashley Ford, who can regularly be seen serenading visitors with his accordion in the Cincinnati History Museum, was acknowledged for his 9,000 volunteer hours. He’s hot on the tail of Harry Rapien who has volunteered 15,000 hours maintaining trains in the Cincinnati History Museum and Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains . The star of the night, however, was Betty Adamson who has contributed 17,000 hours volunteering in the archaeology department at the Geier Collections & Research Center.

The evening of celebration also featured the announcement of a nominee for the Tourism Council of Greater Cincinnati’s ROSE Awards. 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 hotels and attractions. Robert Hale, a volunteer in Union Terminal’s historic Tower A, was honored as a nominee for this year’s ROSE Awards.

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