News Release, Calvert Marine Museum

SOLOMONS, MD – April 11, 2019 – On Wednesday, March 27, the annual Volunteer Recognition Awards dinner was held at the Calvert Marine Museum (CMM). The evening began with our Master of Ceremonies, Director Sherrod Sturrock, announcing that in 2018, volunteers at CMM logged a total of 31,292 hours. That equates to $860,530 of in-kind service, based on the current volunteer value, per hour, as set by the state of Maryland!

2. 2018 Rookie of the Year Sunora Wilbar and CMM Director Sherrod Sturrock. Photo by Robert Hurry.

Congratulations to the following volunteers who were nominated by the staff for the 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award: 

Frank Arbusto for volunteering time in the Development Office, building shelving and making repairs to stop the flooding in the basement. 

Darlene Bremer for working behind scenes in Estuarine Biology, preparing food and feeding many of the critters. 

Sherry Carter for working in the Development Office and Education Department, assisting with membership, concerts, and more several days each week, in addition to leading lighthouse tours every Friday. Sally Crockatt for her great work in Exhibits, doing whatever needs to be done with a smile on her face. 

Ellen Curran for volunteering in the Museum Store. Her energy and enthusiasm is endless and she is always willing to do more. 

Rae Dera not only works behind-the-scenes in Estuarine Biology, she also engages visitors when she is feeding critters or cleaning the habitats. She is our “ray of sunshine”. 

2018 Group Achievement Estuarine Biology Volunteers (from left to right: Sherma Munger, Alex Dalton, Darlene Bremer, Christa Conant, Rae Dera). Photo by Robert Hurry.

Ed Gies has been a member of the Patuxent Small Craft Guild for many years. Among other activities, Ed oversees monthly toy boat building events, which reach and inspire many young minds across our community. 

Ben Gilbert volunteers on the Dee of St. Mary’s.  During an educational cruise, Ben showed how seriously he takes his responsibilities when diving under the boat to free the dredge line from the prop in order to get the boat’s young passengers back safely. 

Stephen Groff volunteers in Paleontology and Education. He is an ambassador for the next generation of the Fossil Cub. He also volunteers for special events wherever he is needed. 

Jane Kostenko has volunteered in Paleontology, Estuarine Biology, Development, and Education. She is also a member of the Purple Martin Club and the Volunteer Council, in addition to being one of our favorite otter mascots!  Although it was difficult to choose just one of these amazing individuals, Rae Dera was named 2018 Volunteer of the Year.

2018 Volunteer of the Year Rae Dera with CMM otter mascot (Lori Cole) and CMM Director Sherrod Sturrock. Photo by Robert Hurry.

CMM’s 2018 Rookie of the Year Award went to Sunora Wilbar for volunteering in the Education Department, assisting with programs such as Sea Squirts and many of the special events. Sunora can also be found in the Discovery Room and at the Skates & Rays exhibit, engaging with guests, both young and young-at-heart.  Congratulations to the following nominees for the 2018 Rookie of the Year Award: Pat Gotsis & Bill Prochownik for volunteering in Paleontology. Aside from helping to quarry, they also act as the team’s eyes and ears on the cliffs. They report finds on a regular basis so we can obtain permission to quarry. Rick Popp for volunteering in the Patuxent Small Craft Guild and on the Dee of St. Mary’s. He is a skilled electrician and carpenter and shares his skills freely. Working full time in DC, he still finds time to enthusiastically dedicate to CMM.

Estuarine Biology’s team of behind-the-scenes volunteers took home the 2018 Group Achievement Award.  These volunteers care for CMM’s collection of animals, ranging from otters and frogs to jellyfish and sharks.  Daily food prep is required to ensure proper nutrition for over 70 species.  Volunteers have learned the feeding habits of all of these animals and feed each individual or tank accordingly. It can be a messy, smelly job, but one on which the animals’ lives depend.  Congratulations to all of the nominees for the 2018 Group Achievement Award:

Avocational Fossil Collectors – CMM Fossil Club

Cove Point Lighthouse Volunteers

Dee of St. Mary’s Education Trip Crew

Estuarine Biology Volunteers – Behind-the-scenes

Pat Gotsis & Bill Prochownik

Junior Docents

Thank you to all of our volunteers that give so much of themselves to help make CMM the very best it can be. We couldn’t do it without each and every one of you!  For more information about volunteer opportunities at CMM, contact Sherry Reid, Volunteer & Events Coordinator, at 410-326-2042 ext. 19 or

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...