‘Ding’ Darling honors Jim Sprankle with Brush of Excellence Award
During the finale of “Ding” Days which ended on Saturday, Oct. 21, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge presented wood carver and longtime volunteer of the refuge, Jim Sprankle, with the Brush of Excellence Award. Sprankle is the first-ever recipient of the award.
“I honestly don’t know what to say, I’m so proud and I’m so happy and what a surprise,” Sprankle said.
Sprankle has been a volunteer at the refuge since July 1, 1997.
During the ceremony, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland thanked Sprankle for all his contributions over the years.
“We want to thank you for all your generosity, you volunteer your time and your skills and the center is filled with amazing pieces of art and you continue to give,” Westland said. “Thank you for everything you do for the Fish and Wildlife Service.”
In 2015, Sam Koltinsky, filmmaker of “America’s Darling” which is a documentary on the life of Jay Norwood Darling, presented the refuge and the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society with the Brush of Excellence. The refuge will now give out the award when they feel it is warranted.
“It was an actual brush used by “Ding” Darling himself and now it hangs inside a case in our Visitor & Education Center,” said Doris Hardy, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society president.
Sprankle’s award was presented on “Ding” Darling’s 141st birthday.