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Refuge staff lauds volunteer ‘family’

By Staff | Mar 3, 2010

Ten-year volunteers John Fisher, Mary and Art Cramer (with grandson Alex), Jim Sprankle, Peggy Hupfeldt, Barry and Francine Litofsky and Shirley Schiffman pose with Refuge Manager Paul Tritaik.

“Thank you for everything you do,” volunteer coordinator Ranger Jeff Combs told the 200-some gathered refuge volunteers at an awards luncheon held at Sanibel Community House last Friday. “Thanks for providing me with a family.”

Combs, Refuge Manager Paul Tritaik and other staff from J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge gathered to thank and praise the refuge’s loyal volunteer corps at the annual awards ceremony, co-sponsored by “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

In his blessing before the luncheon, Tritaik said, “Thank you, God, for blessing us with the opportunity to work at this special place called J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Not only for the sanctuary it provides for the wildlife, but also for the bringing together of those in this hall. Without this family of caring individuals, the refuge would not be the crown jewel it is today.”

Below is a complete list of award recipients, who received certificates, pins, and glasswork etched by Sanibel artist Luc Century.

2010 Volunteer Awards

8,500 hours – Jeanne Rankin

6,500 hours – Bill Rankin

4,500 hours – Jack Rushworth

4,000 hours – Tim Gardner

3,500 hours – Judy Davis and Ann Wollschlager

3,000 hours – Is Cloak

2,500 hours – Terry Baldwin, Carroll Branyon, Milena Eskew, John Masuka and Whit Smith

2,000 hours – Anne Bresslau, Howard Hendricks, Carolyn Johns and Whit Smith

1,500 hours – Ed Combs, Malcolm Harpham, Barry Litofsky, Francine Litofsky and Latham Morris

1,000 hours – Susan Cassell, William Cramer, Phyllis Gresham, Doris Hardy, Miriam Hursey, Conrad Matuzek, Susan Moore, Shirley Schiffman, Jim Scott, Jeanne Tyrer and Billy Wood

500 hours – Alan Gast, Carol Johnstone, Marie Monick, Kathy Mustachio, John Wolf and Martha Wolf

250 hours – Ken Bergstrom, Barbara Broadhurst, Gary Dutton, Jim Griffith, Page Hartley, John McCabe, Kinnie Schmidt, Kathy Williams and Pam Windust

150 hours – Craig Albert, Paul Andrews, Robert Blacklow, Kathy Boyd, Cecy Faster, Tom Flemming, Mary Kelly, John McCabe, Tom Mehalic, Ed Sessa, Sharon Stillwell, Richard Stillwell, David Williams and Birgit Vertesch

In addition, 10-year awards were handed out to Art Cramer, Janet Cramer, Mary Cramer, John Fisher, Tom Flemming, Maggie Hanson, Peggy Hupfeldt, Joyce Jacobs, Barry Litofsky, Francine Litofsky, Marian Pool, Helen Richmond, Shirley Schiffman and Jim Sprankle.