LDWF Recognizes Aquatic Education Volunteers

Release Date: 11/30/2017

Angela Capello (LDWF), Tim and Rhonda Dean (Toledo Bend Lake Association)
Jay Schwander, Tim Dean, Kaye Florane, Cory MacMenamin (back), Charlie Bush, Bob Batemen, Don Montgomery

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hosted an Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program (VIP) Continuing Education Workshop on Thursday, November 16 to show their appreciation for the agency’s aquatic volunteers. Volunteers from across the state were invited to Palmetto’s on the Bayou in Slidell to sharpen their skills through daytime workshops and to recognize those volunteers who’ve gone above and beyond during an appreciation dinner that followed.
Since the Aquatic VIP’s inception in September 2015, volunteers have offered aquatic education at 115 events and logged over 2,300 hours of service. Events range from fishing tournaments, to classroom visits, to church festivals and more. Volunteers are required to donate their time at least once after becoming certified; however, many volunteers well exceeded the minimum requirement.
Don Montgomery surpassed our highest expectations and donated 174 hours of his time to the program. “The Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program has been an inspiration to me,” explained Montgomery. “I was so impressed with the possibilities for sharing my experiences with the next generation. If I had to choose where to spend my volunteer hours, this program would be my first choice.”
His dedication was acknowledged with the 2017 Most Outstanding Volunteer Award.
The Toledo Bend Lake Association was acknowledged for their 20 years of service with the 2017 Most Outstanding Group of Volunteers award. The TBLA has assisted with the coordination of the Sabine Fishing Clinic for two decades, long before the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program was developed. They also donated an enclosed trailer to the department in 2009, which was outfitted with aquatic education equipment and supplies.
Exceptional volunteers were recognized at the following levels: 
Tier One Volunteers: (8 days of service and 40 hours) 
Bob Bateman
Charlie Bush
Cory MacMenamin
Don Montgomery
Honda Brown
Jay Schwander
John Eddleman
Justin Ammon
Kaye Florane
Nathan Clophus
Shannon Burton
Tim and Rhonda Dean representing the Toledo Bend Lake Association
Tier Two Volunteers: (4 days of service and 20 hours) 
Alfred Levy
Bill Lejeune
Gail Klostermeyer
Joann Haydel
Joe France
Joe Guinta
John Kinabrew
Kelsie Jolly
Natalie Weiss
Rachael Mathews
Rachel Duplechain
Robert Johnson
Stephanie Vidrine
Sue Marchal
Wanda Stewart
If you or someone you know, including teachers, is interested in becoming an Aquatic Volunteer Instructor for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, please visit our website at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ldwf-volunteer-programs. For questions, contact Alayna McGarry at amcgarry@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4050.
This event is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.