Tennessee Aquarium Volunteer Receives Statewide Recognition For Service

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Long-time volunteer Deborah Williams has been named Hamilton County’s adult winner for this year’s Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards. The award is by nomination and seeks “to recognize outstanding volunteers from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties.”

“Deb was beyond surprised about winning this award-it really came out of the blue,” said Guest Programs Coordinator Beth Brellenthin. “Of course, she knows she shares this with all the dedicated volunteers at the Tennessee Aquarium that she works with.”

The GVSA’s statewide recognition event will take place on March 11 in Nashville.

A former real estate agent and lawyer, Ms. Williams has been volunteering at the Aquarium since October 2008. To date, she has contributed more than 2,400 hours of her time, including stints in food preparation and leading behind-the-scenes tours in both buildings.

The Aquarium has a pool of about 500 active volunteers, who contribute more than 60,000 hours of their time each year to the tasks ranging from visitor engagement and dive presentations to food preparation and guided tours.

Ms. Williams said she was “very shocked” at hearing she had won the award but credited the Aquarium for giving her an opportunity to serve. Those hundreds of hours, she says, were exceptionally well-spent.

“The people who are here are amazing — the staff, the volunteers … everybody,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun to be in a really beautiful place like this and show the guests the wonder of nature and educate them. It’s just really fun to help people learn about our environment and the Aquarium.”

Those interested in becoming a volunteer at the Aquarium can apply for the next seasonal docent drive, which begins on April 16. Chosen applicants will be scheduled to volunteer on weekends between Memorial Day (May 28) and Labor Day (Sept. 3). More information and an online application are available atwww.tnaqua.org/volunteer-opportunities/docent-volunteers.



Tora, Tora, Tora To Reenact Pearl Harbor Invasion During The Wings Over North Georgia Air Show

World War II era aircraft will soon fill the skies over Russell Regional Airport with pyrotechnics and special ground effects to create a virtual reenactment of the infamous Pearl Harbor invasion of Dec. 7, 1941. The Wings Over North Georgia Air Show returns for its seventh annual event on  Oct. 13-14  in Rome, Ga.     Presented by JLC ... (click for more)

Historic Brushy Mountain Penitentiary Reopens As Tourism Destination

There will be a g rand opening/ribbon cutting on Friday at 10 a.m. for the Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary is reopening as a regional tourism destination in Morgan County.    The site will feature behind-the-wall tours, the Warden's Table Restaurant, End of the Line Tennessee Moonshine and Distillery, museum, ... (click for more)

NAACP Wants Answers On Snafu That Caused 43 Ballots Not To Be Counted In Recent Hamilton County Election

Officials of the NAACP said they have "grave concerns" about an election snafu in Hamilton County that left the ballots of 43 voters uncounted in the Aug. 2 election. The group said there has been little information given on the complex problem involving an earlier shift in voter lines. They have written a letter to Mark Goins, state election coordinator, and Kerry Steelman, ... (click for more)

Hearing Delay On Suit Brought By State Democrats To Keep Robin Smith Off Ballot

A hearing has been delayed on a lawsuit brought by the Tennessee Democratic Party seeking to keep Republican Robin Smith off the ballot in House District 26. Ms. Smith was the only candidate after longtime Rep. Gerald McCormick abruptly announced he was leaving his post to move to Nashville. Chancellor Jeff Atherton on Monday afternoon said he could not take the case until ... (click for more)

Make One Of The Proposed Surplus City Buildings Into A Local History Museum - And Response

The city of Chattanooga currently has no history center or museum. That is because several years ago it was conveyed to the public, in the blinking of an eye, that $9 million that had been raised mysteriously vanished for reasons unexplainable to this date. In the meantime, valuable artifacts and collections are sitting in cellars, basements and storage facilities instead of being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: No Cell Phones Allowed

There was a time, not so long ago, when school-aged children would learn lessons from a prescribed text, such as a textbook. Today texting is far, far different and, as any of our teachers will tell us, cell phones have become the scourge of education. In almost every classroom, kids will silently text in the shadow of the desk in front of them rather than focus on the lesson. Yet ... (click for more)