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Volunteers Honored for Service at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

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The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force celebrated its 37th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet on April 5 during which over 600 volunteers were honored.

David Hills of Miamisburg, Ohio, was selected as the Museum Volunteer of the Year for 2018 for his dedication and excellence in serving the museum and the U.S. Air Force.

Nominated by the Education Division and the Volunteer Advisory Council – Korea/Southeast Asia War Gallery Representatives, Hills was commended for being consistently and deeply involved in educational activities at the Museum. During 2018, he participated in every monthly Family Day, always staffing the most involved and largely participatory demos and activities; most of these he conceived and built the demo himself. He demonstrated drone flying and built an elaborate netted penned-in area for safety purposes that allowed visitors to fly the drones themselves. He also created and staffed (for three straight days) a very-popular trivia game for use during the Memphis Belle™ exhibit opening event. Additionally, along with his son, Alex, he built two “tornado machines” for use during the March Meteorology Mania Family Day event.

Other Volunteer of the Year nominees included Lorelei Albert (Volunteer Resources Office); Kenneth Croisant (Operations Division); Tom Gardner (Restoration Division); Barry Kolano (Air Force Museum Foundation); Joe Matis (Volunteer Advisory Council-8th AF Control Tower and Nissen Hut Rep.); Marti Ventolo (Volunteer Advisory Council-4th Bldg. Galleries & Friends Desk Rep.) Frank Wolfe (Special Events Division); Mark Young (Research Division).

Additionally, volunteers received special recognition by receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which is awarded to those who have completed 4,000 hours or more of volunteer service. Those volunteers included Joe Clark; Dave Edwards; Charles Farlow; David Stemen; and Mary Thomas.

Dona Mastin of Beavercreek, Ohio, was recognized for 25 years of service. John Downs of Enon, Ohio, Larry Furrow of Urbana, Ohio, Steve Ganger of Greenville, Ohio, Ohio, Bernie Roke of Louisville, KY, and were all recognized for 30 years of service. Marti Ventolo of Enon, Ohio, was recognized for 35 years of service. Sue Craven of Dayton, Ohio, was recognized for 40 years of service. Cynthia Brubaker of Dayton, Ohio, was recognized for 45 years of service.       

In total, the museum acknowledged 108 volunteers for reaching milestones of 1,000 to 15,000 hours of volunteer service. Overall, volunteers contributed 109,998.75 hours of service to the museum in 2018, representing more than $2.7 million dollars in assets to the Air Force.

For more information about volunteering at the museum, visit

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit

NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Ken LaRock at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1238.