|Honoree’s Name: Bob Holmes
Award Category: Arts & Education
Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:
It is with great pleasure that I formally nominate Pretend City volunteer, Bob Holmes, as the recipient of the Spirit of Volunteerism award. Bob joined the Pretend City team in May of 2021, and quickly worked at racking up his donation hours. Within his first month, Bob had donated 88.0 hours of his time to supporting the staff at Pretend City. Over the summer of 2021, we had the honor of welcoming Bob to the museum 5 days a week, and by the end of 2021 he had reached 632 hours donated. But all of us at Pretend City know that the value of Bob’s commitment to volunteerism is not simply measured in time: Bob’s true value comes in the care which he gives his projects, and in the impact that he has made on our organization, it’s staff, and the community we serve. Bob joined the team as a support to our Facilities Manager, to assist with daily maintenance projects within the museum. From touching up chipped paint, to creating bouquets of artificial flowers, Bob can reliably complete the projects needed to keep Pretend City welcoming and beautiful. But his impact did not stop there. As our museum reopened following an unpredictable year, Bob helped us to think of new ideas to keep our youngest guests happy and safe. Bob launched the idea of having a “face mask decorating station” at the museum entrance, to encourage safe practices and to correlate mask wearing with a fun activity. This sticker station has become a staple of our entrance, and we now staff a greeting station where little ones are welcomed in and offered fun stickers every day. As part of his daily routine, Bob checks our Pretend City mailbox, and finds fun letters that our youngest guests have written and dropped in the post, and with incredible enthusiasm, Bob shares the words of our visitors. With every letter that Bob reads, we hear the stories of the delicious meals eaten at the cafe, the new products that are recommended for our grocery store, and even words of thanks and love from our little guests to their friends and family. Another permanent addition to our museum is our “community helpers” exhibit. This hands-on, all ages, interactive play prop had been in development for some time, derailed by the pandemic and subsequent closures, but Bob took on this project to see it through to its final placement in our City. Every detail on this prop was carefully thought through by Bob, to ensure a fun engagement and a safe playing opportunity. It is apparent that Bob has such a high level of commitment to our organization because he truly believes in our mission, that children learn through play and that we are all here to help our guests Build Better Brains. To date, Bob has donated 749 hours of his life to Pretend City Children’s Museum. He spends every Monday and Tuesday with us, consistently and reliably. The operation of our City would not be possible without the assistance Bob brings us week after week. We are proud to have him as a member of our Pretend City team. There is not another volunteer who could replace the impact Bob has left on our organization; we have recognized him as our very own “Volunteer of the Year,” and can see no other volunteer who is as deserving of continuing recognition through your Spirit of Volunteerism award.