Here at AFSC, we could not function without the help of volunteers. From our annual auction to lawn work to renovations, so much of what we have been able to accomplish over the past 10 years has been because of volunteer efforts. This has been especially true these past 2 months as we began the process of upgrading our facility. The upgrade process has been (and continues to be) a huge undertaking that’s involved moving exhibits, tearing down and rebuilding walls, painting, and redesigning signage, just to name a few of the massive projects that are being worked on. What is truly amazing is that all of this work has been done thanks to the kindness of a few hard working and generous volunteers.
Some of the amazing work accomplished in the Exhibit Hall by our volunteers
One of the core volunteers who has helped make our vision for the exhibit hall a reality is Gary Gage. Since the project began in late November, Gary has been back in the exhibit hall nearly every day constructing walls, sanding, sawing, and painting for hours on end to get the job done–and done well.
We sat down with Gary to learn more about him, what he’s been working on, and how he first became involved with AFSC. Here’s what we learned:
Gary first heard about AFSC through a friend who had attended our fundraiser dinner back in 2014. After learning about AFSC’s mission and some of its needs, this friend called Gary, knowing his skill set, and asked if he would like some work to do. Thankfully for us, he said yes.
Though he spent his career on the office end of construction, working for the company
Babcock and Wilcox, Gary shared with us that his true love is in the actual building and working with his hands. Having grown up on a farm, Gary is gifted with many skills, such as carpentry and painting, which he learned from his grandfather. Graciously, he has chosen to bless AFSC with these skills.
Gary’s first project for AFSC was helping with painting throughout the building. In October of 2014, he began building and painting the clock face for the new clock tower that would go up in Spring, 2015. Since then, Gary has been coming in each month, helping with any projects that needed a skilled hand, such as crafting new bookshelves for our gift shop and building special bins to display gift shop items.
Some of Gary’s handiwork
Gary’s most recent and most involved undertaking has been the renovation of our exhibit hall. Since the renovation began, Gary has been working tirelessly to complete the project. Several other volunteers have generously donated their time and skills to the project throughout the months, but it’s Gary who has come in nearly every single day to ensure the work gets finished on time.
When asked why he believes AFSC is worth all the time and effort, his answer is straightforward: It’s important for people to know who their creator is. God is the creator. He appreciates when people emphasize that and is happy to help anyone who does this in whatever way he can.
Despite the long hours, Gary comes in each morning and leaves each day with a smile on his face and a kind greeting for everyone he comes across. His good attitude is contagious and his humble servant’s attitude is inspiring. We here at AFSC are so grateful to have someone like Gary on our team.
In addition to donating his time and skills to AFSC, Gary enjoys spending time with his family and his church. Gary and his wife have been married since 1976 and together they attend The Chapel in Akron where his wife sings in the church choir.
We are so thankful for volunteers like Gary and we truly could not function without them. Our science center relies on you to help bring our vision and our mission to others.
Volunteers are needed in a variety of positions: tour guides, gardening, administrative, animal care, special events, park supervision, renovations, camps, classes, and more! Volunteers may choose to be full-time, part-time, group, or special event volunteers depending on what fits their schedule best. There are so many ways to get involved and use your talents here at AFSC and we do our best to find the right position for each volunteer.
We want to, once again, thank our amazing volunteer, Gary Gage, for sitting down and talking with us and for all of his hard work, dedication, and positive attitude. We couldn’t make it without you!!
AFSC volunteers have the opportunity to receive benefits such as:
- Behind the scenes knowledge and involvement with AFSC
- Be involved in the critical mission of sharing the knowledge of God’s creation
- 10% discount in our gift shop
- Invitation to our annual Volunteer Appreciation luncheon
If YOU are interested in becoming part of our team here at AFSC, please contact Alysha Schall at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!