We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again and again: we could not operate with our volunteers.
Right now there are more than 200 people who volunteer for The Maritime Aquarium. Over our 24½ years, hundreds more have given their time, talents and passion for the animals and the environment. They are retirees, professionals, homemakers, students; the full demographic of our county.
If you are an Aquarium visitor, after your entry transaction with a cashier, most likely every person you will talk to in the Aquarium will be a volunteer. They cheerfully and patiently interpret exhibits, talk about our animals and answer a wide variety of questions. Sometimes, it’s a matter of them saying the same things over and over and over all day. But they love it and keep coming back, and for that the Aquarium is forever grateful.
This past Thursday, we honored a Norwalk couple for their longtime support – as volunteers and more. Jack and Mimi Cohen are recipients of The Maritime Aquarium’s first “Seal of Approval” award.
The Cohens actively supported the Aquarium even when it was just a proposal for South Norwalk. Since its opening in 1988, the couple has devoted thousands of hours as volunteers, stationed at key Aquarium exhibits to interpret displays for visitors and answer questions. Mimi Cohen logged 2,453 hours, and Jack another 1,952.
Mimi Cohen, a retired teacher, also works as a part-time Aquarium educator and developed some of the first educational initiatives that are still at the basis of many of our most popular educational programs today. And Jack Cohen maintains the Aquarium’s spectrophotometers – an instrument that can reveal the chemical properties of a sample – through his expertise as an engineer at Buck Scientific Inc. in Norwalk
In 2009, the Cohens were among the charter members of The Maritime Aquarium’s “Legacy of the Sound Society,” a group of individuals who make provisions for a planned gift to the Aquarium through a will or trust. And, this summer, when we opened the opportunity to purchase memorial plaques on IMAX Theater seats as part of our IMAX renovation, again the Cohens were among the first to step up to the plate.
In presenting the “Seal of Approval” award, Jennifer Herring, president of The Maritime Aquarium, called the Cohens instrumental in their support of the Aquarium’s mission.
“Their passion for Long Island Sound and science education is evident in everything they do,” Herring said.
Indeed. Thanks, Jack & Mimi!