"Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge celebrated its annual Volunteer Awards Luncheon on Feb. 1, at Sanibel Community House.
"The refuge would not be able to operate as it does without the valuable support of our volunteer corps," says ranger Jeff Combs, who oversees the refuge's public services.
He reports that in 2012, 270 volunteers worked more than 30,000 hours at the refuge, representing a labor savings of 14.5 staff members and nearly $674,390.
Recipients of the 150-hours award.
The packed house gave standing ovations to loyal friends Tim Gardner, whose wife Carol accepted his award for 5,000 hours posthumously, and to Marilyn Kloosterman, for her 7,500-hour award.
Followng is a list of volunteers and their awards for attaining hour and year achievement levels.
20-year award: Carol Awender; Art Pore; Joan Pore.
10-year award: Donna Adams; Karen Combs; Tom Edgar; Glen Gresham; Phyllis Gresham; Herb Lieberman; Donald McGregor; Arland Oleson; Marian Oleson; Kinnie Schmidt; Marshall Schmidt; Mary Lou Spencer; John Wolf; Martha Wolf.
7,500 hours: Marilyn Kloosterman.
5,000 hours: Tim Gardner.
4,500 hours: Dan Davis; Norm Honest; Ann Wollschlager; Bill Wollschlager.
3,500 hours: Theresa Baldwin; Ed Combs; John Masuka.
3,000 hours: Carroll Branyon; Doris Hardy; Whitman Smith.
2,500 hours: Michael Cuscaden; Doris Hardy; Bob Ingraham; Latham Morris; Bill Wood.
2,000 hours: Susan Harpham; Miriam Hursey; Dale McGinley; Sherry Myatt; Ken Poulson; Judy Wood.
1,500 hours: Karen Combs; June Ingraham; Ben Klaus
Mary Klaus; Joan Tinson; Jeanne Tyrer; Alice Walzer.
1,000 hours: Sue McIntyre; Martin Pokedoff; Jack Wettstein; Patty Wettstein.
500 hours: Barbara Broadhurst; Bob Dicken; Patsy Dicken; Charles Dunham; Lynda Dunham; Bill Overton; Richard Stillwell; Sharon Stillwell; Jack Wettstein; Patty Wettstein; Pam Windust.
250 hours: John MacLennan; Jim Newes; Wendy Schnapp; Garold Schudel; Vicky Sears; Ed Sessa; Carol Strange; Helen Taylor.
150 hours: Pat Appino; Joyce Barney; Richard Boehning; Claudia Burns; Karittha Charoensri; Maryann Czarnecki; Due Danford; Carolyn Decoster; Bill Gibney; Tracy Hanson; Thomas Hoopes; Marcia Legru; Bill Lupfer; Pat Lussier; Jessica Mathisen; Jim Newes; JoAnn Reece; Greg Scherer; Cindy Seaman; David Sharpe; Steve Speirs; Helen Taylor; Ralph Taylor; Roger Tosch.