JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Teton Raptor Center is an organization that gets a lot out of its volunteers. The staff is slim so community members who are willing and able to share their time with the center are cherished. Once a year, TRC honors these valuable community members.
TRC staff and board gathered Wednesday to pay tribute to 65 volunteers who gave more than 8,000 hours of time and talent in 2017.
“Teton Raptor Center’s Ambassador Appreciation Night is one of our favorite gatherings of the year, when we celebrate the extraordinary investment of time, talent, and heart dedicated to every aspect of our work to advance raptor conservation,” said executive director Amy Brennan McCarthy. “Our ambassadors spend time in the field, in the clinic, and in classrooms throughout the region. They are an inspirational force for the birds.”
Kathy Warner earned the TRC Ambassador-of-the-Year Award in recognition for her consistent dedication to rehabilitation. Warner volunteered nearly every Sunday and Wednesday at TRC’s clinic.
The Junior Ambassador-of-the-Year Award went to a very deserving Tosh Carr, a budding 8-year-old raptor enthusiast, who was a knowledgeable and welcoming presence during onsite programming throughout the summer.
Samantha “Sammy” Douville received the Golden Owl Award, which recognizes individuals who work quietly behind the scenes to help TRC accomplish its goals. Douville volunteered over 400 hours the past calendar year between helping in the rehab clinic and with educational programming.
Irene Greenberg received TRC’s Artist-of-the-Year Award for her efforts of capturing and sharing inspiring photos of wild raptors. The Research Hero of the year went to Steve Poole for his countless hours spent locating, tracking, and monitoring Great Gray Owls for TRC’s studies. Patti Mull was recognized as the Rehabilitation Hero of the year for her consistent presence in the clinic and her willingness to take on any task. Kathy Smith was recognized as the Education Hero for her dedication and assisting with off-site programming throughout the year.
The Poo-Poo Hero was June Green for her tireless efforts that expanded our Poo-Poo Project to all 50 states. Ty Cook was recognized as the Project Hero for his design and construction of products that helped with daily function in the clinic. Special thanks also went out to 13 ambassadors who joined the ranks of Talon Society through volunteering 100 hours of volunteer time within a calendar year.
Jessie Walters, TRC raptor care and volunteer coordinator, said, “Teton Raptor Center would not be able to serve the community at the level that we do if it wasn’t for all our amazing volunteers. They are the ones that make it possible for us to aid over 100 raptors that are injured, ill, and orphaned each year. They help us provide unique educational experiences to more than 27,000 people. And they make it possible for us to conduct research and conservation initiatives across the nation, including expanding the Poo-Poo Project throughout the United States and internationally.”