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Volunteers honored for service at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

  • Published
  • By Sarah Swan
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
The National Museum of the United States Air Force Volunteer Program celebrated its 32nd anniversary by honoring more than 500 volunteers during a Volunteer Appreciation Banquet on April 11. The event is held during Volunteer Appreciation Week.

Mike Fitzsimmons of Laura, Ohio, received the 2013 Director's Award for Volunteer of the Year for his dedication and excellence in serving the museum and the U.S. Air Force.

Nominated by the Education and Operations Divisions, Fitzsimmons is recognized and appreciated by staff members for his professional demeanor and positive attitude. He joined the program as a Korean War/Southeast Asia War Gallery monitor in 1988 and pioneered the lobby information desk volunteer position in 1990. He steps up to fill vacancies when other volunteers are unable to fulfill their commitments and serves as a role model for new volunteers.

Other Volunteer of the Year nominees included Squire Brown of Centerville, nominated by the Research Division; Bobbette Fluck of Huber Heights, nominated by the Special Events Division; Bob Pinizzotto of Beavercreek, nominated by the Restoration Division; and Art Powell of Beavercreek, nominated by the Air Force Museum Foundation.

Additionally, 16 volunteers received special recognition during the banquet. Jim Blackman of Beavercreek, Art Daubert of Centerville, Elwood Dornbusch of Beavercreek, Tom H. Gardner of Englewood, and Garry Guthrie of Springboro received the President's Volunteer Service Award, which is awarded to those who have completed 4,000 hours or more of volunteer service.

Cynthia Brubaker of Dayton was recognized for 40 years of service, and Sue Craven of Huber Heights and Martha Parker of Centerville for 35 years. Marti Ventolo of Enon was recognized for 30 years of service, and John Downs of Enon, Larry Furrow of Urbana, Steve Ganger of Greenville, Tony Hoog of Germantown, Don Ream of Springfield, Bernie Roke of Louisville and Ron Thurlow of Beavercreek were recognized for 25 years.

The museum also acknowledged 68 volunteers for reaching milestones of 1,000 to 23,000 hours of volunteer service. Overall, volunteers contributed 90,000 hours of service to the museum in 2013, representing nearly $2 million dollars in assets to the Air Force.

Volunteers play a significant and critical role in the museum's mission, according to museum director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson.

"Every day, our volunteers show their dedication to telling the Air Force story and inspiring our youth," Hudson said. "In 2013 we shared the Air Force story with nearly 1 million onsite and 4 million online visitors, and we wouldn't be able to do that without our volunteers. We are grateful for their service. It is an honor to serve each and every day with them."

For more information about volunteering at the museum, visit

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information about the museum, visit

NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3495.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.