Mote thanks longest serving volunteer

Dave Bowman, Mote Volunteer Emeritus and Dr. Michael P. Crosby, Mote President & CEO.

Dave Bowman has spent the last 35 years volunteering at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. During that time, he logged a total of 16,289 hours sharing his passion for the ocean and educating Moteguests from all over the world about Mote’s marine research and conservation efforts.

Now, at age 80, as he relocates his home 60 miles east to Wachula, Fla., he is saying goodbye to his volunteering days at Mote, but not forever.

In December 2015, Bowman was named Volunteer Emeritus, a title given to retired volunteers who still very much believe in Mote’s mission. He plans to be involved as much as he can from his new home. He wants to stay connected to the current volunteers, volunteer for special events and continue sharingMote’s story with people he meets along the way.

“Mote is an extraordinary place, and although I won’t be able to volunteer regularly anymore, beingVolunteer Emeritus is a way for me to stay connected to this organization that holds a very special place in my heart,” said Bowman.

Bowman began volunteering at Mote in October 1980, when the Aquarium first opened to the public. He had recently moved to Sarasota to take care of his parents and needed to find a hobby to fill his free time. He became enthralled with Mote and continued to volunteer through November 2015, making him the longest-serving Mote volunteer in history.

“They are giving me a special 35-year pin at the Volunteer awards banquet in April, and you bet I will where that thing with pride,” said Bowman who served in several volunteer capacities including Admissions, Setup and Support for the Aquarium Tanks, Day Chair, Speaker’s Bureau, Lab Tour Guide, President of the Volunteer Board, Education Program Development Team, Teacher of the New Volunteer Classes, and many others.

In his 35 years of volunteering at the Aquarium, Bowman has seen Mote grow from a handful of volunteers to a volunteer corps of 1,600. He has also seen the Aquarium become nationally recognized as it was named TripAdvisor’s fifth best Aquarium in the U.S. last year, making it the top Aquarium in the state of Florida.

“Throughout my time at Mote, one thing has stayed the same,” said Bowman. “Something that has impressed me to my very last day is the amount of people who come through those Aquarium doors who come up to me and say that Mote may not be the biggest Aquarium they’ve even been to, but it is the most informative, most educational and most impressive, and that is something you can’t get anywhere else.”

Enter your email below to receive occasional Longboat Key breaking news eblasts and updates.

Tags: , , , ,

Longboat Key News

2 Responses for “Mote thanks longest serving volunteer”

  1. Bob McDonnell says:

    Dave, I was privileged to serve on your Saturday morning crew for about 10 years. Being from Minnesota I knew nothing about the sea or sea life, however as a retired dentist and thought I knew quite a bite about biology, but found out that compared to you I knew next to nothing. I was always in complete awe of your knowledge and willingness to share it.
    I certainly wish the very best for you in your “semi-retirement”.
    Your friend, Bob

Leave a Reply