Tennessee Aquarium Volunteer Jane Corn Exceeds 4,000 Hours

Thursday, February 9, 2017 - by Thom Benson

In the last eight years, Jane Corn has dedicated 4,000 hours — the equivalent of two salaried years — worth of volunteer service to the Tennessee Aquarium.

On Thursday, Tennessee Aquarium president and CEO Keith Sanford and education volunteer coordinator Beth Brellenthin recognized Ms. Corn’s volunteering record with a commorative pin.   

The 70-year-old resident of Ringgold, Ga., is a retired veterinary technician. Her decision to volunteer at the Aquarium was motivated by a “love of animals of all kinds” and a simple desire for “something to fill the time.”

That she has now exceeded 4,000 hours came as something of a shock.

“It kind of slipped up on me,” Ms. Corn laughed, the blue and silver pin newly attached to her shirt lapel. “I don’t feel like I’ve been here that long.”

In all, the aquarium has an active pool of more than 500 volunteers, whose roles range from interacting with guests as docents to helping prepare food for the animals. In 2016, this volunteer force devoted about 64,000 hours of their time, the equivalent to almost 31 full-time positions and a combined service valued at more than $1.44 million.

Typically, an active aquarium volunteer contributes 150 to 200 hours of service a year. In 2016 alone, Ms. Corn volunteered more than 630 hours of her time.

Volunteers also typically work within a single aquarium department and usually for one day a week. Ms. Corn’s weekly schedule stretches across four days and three departments — forestry, husbandry and education — encompassing tasks ranging from working with songbirds and butterflies to assisting with the Gentoo and Macroni Penguins.

That rigorous schedule makes her something of an outlier in the aquarium’s volunteer community.

“I would say one percent of volunteers might work in another department. She’s in the 0.001 percent,” Ms. Brellenthin said. “When I need her to do something, she just does it.”

Whatever amount of time they chose to contribute, volunteers are integral to the smooth operation of the Aquarium. That some, like Ms. Corn, decide to devote so much of their time speaks well of both them and the aquarium, Mr. Sanford said.

“We couldn’t open each day without our volunteer force,” he said. “For somebody to hit a 4,000-hour milestone shows their dedication and sense of satisfaction. It’s a win-win situation for the aquarium and for the volunteers.”

Those interested in donating their time at the aquarium, whether as a docent, a diver or a day camp volunteer, can learn more about volunteering opportunities at tnaqua.org/volunteer-opportunities. Volunteers benefits include a 20 percent discount in aquarium or IMAX 3D gift shops, IMAX passes, a family membership (after three months of service), free individual aquarium admission, recognition events and more.


A new round of docent training is currently underway. The next eight-week training session begins at the end of August.

Airbnb Announces Home Sharing Tax Agreement With Tennessee

Airbnb, a community driven hospitality company, announced a statewide tax agreement with the Tennessee Department of Revenue that will allow the company to collect and remit state and local sales taxes on behalf of its 7,700 Tennessee hosts.   With the tax agreement in place, the state will be able to fully capitalize on people visiting Tennessee and staying longer ... (click for more)

A Party In The Sky Celebrates Natural Aviators With IMAX Film, Crafts, Games And Animal Encounters

From Atlas Beetles’ ponderous lift off to Starlings’ gracefully synchronized aerial maneuvering, Conquest of the Skies 3D  covers the full gamut of natural flight. On  Jan. 27 , the newest film to fill the IMAX 3D Theater’s six-story screen gets even more incredible thanks to A Party in the Sky. This one-time event will feature pre- and post-screening activities that ... (click for more)

Ivy Johnson, 23, And Cordarrius Johnson, 26, Shot Early Sunday Morning On Lillian Lane

Ivy Johnson, 23, And Cordarrius Johnson, 26, were shot early Sunday morning.   Chattanooga Police were notified at 4:39 a.m. of two people arriving at a local hospital with gunshot wounds. Upon arrival, police spoke with the two victims who were suffering from non-life threatening gunshot wounds. The victims arrived at the hospital via personal vehicle.   ... (click for more)

2 Top Officials Leave Administration Of Sheriff Eric Watson

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson on Sunday announced the resignations of Chief Deputy Brian Smith and Director of Administrations Arnold Botts. He said they "served with distinction for the past four years." The Sheriff's Office said, "Smith notified Sheriff Watson that he is exploring business opportunities in the private sector, while Botts mentioned the timing was right ... (click for more)

DACA Or Amnesty To Become The Majority?

As we have the political drama that we see in D.C. let’s be honest about what DACA is all about. We understand as the liberal policies of abortion, dependency on the government and an anti-American globalist / progressive agenda that many have come to realize these policies no longer represent their core beliefs and have left a certain party. Without an influx of new dependency ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What’s The ‘Super’ Done?

The headline on Jan. 10 in the Times Free Press read, “Report shows Hamilton County students still lagging behind Tennessee peers.” In smaller type underneath, the sub-head added, “Less than 33 percent of county elementary, middle school students read at grade level.” Then, just seven days later, this on Friday, the same newspaper bannered, “Hamilton County Schools superintendent ... (click for more)