A Celebration of Volunteers

Mystic Seaport honored the work of its volunteers at a celebratory dinner and awards ceremony.

Every year, Mystic Seaport honors the work of its volunteers at a celebratory dinner and awards ceremony. The corps of more than 500 volunteers carry out a wide variety of jobs around the Museum and are active in almost every aspect of the operation. The following are those who were honored for 2017.

William C. Noyes Volunteer of the Year Award

The William C. Noyes Volunteer of the Year Award was established in 1998 through the generosity of Bill’s widow, Bettye, and donations received in Bill’s memory. The award is presented each year “to honor a Museum volunteer who best personifies Bill Noyes’ example and the ‘true spirit’ of a Mystic Seaport volunteer.” Bill, who was known for his friendly manner, his willingness to work, and his firm belief in the Golden Rule, gave freely of his time wherever he was needed the most. Between 1983 and 1997, he volunteered over 6,000 hours in numerous departments, offering his services to any and all.

The 2017 Noyes Award was given to Howard Veisz – a dedicated volunteer in the Watercraft Department since 2009 who has been working on GERDA III and has adopted her as his special project volunteering approximately 4,000 hours. He is always eager to introduce people to the story of the rescue of the Danish Jews and the role that GERDA III played. Howard is a man of integrity and his commitment to passing along the inspirational story of GERDA III and her crew to the next generation exemplifies the mission of Mystic Seaport.

Special Recognition Awards: Volunteers

This award is presented to volunteers who have shown outstanding work, leadership, and skill in a specific area or department at Mystic Seaport. 

George Lipphardt. George has logged in more than 7,085 hours in support of the Facilities Department for over 25 years. He is a respected member of the Facilities team endearing himself to all staff for his friendly, positive attitude and his commitment to the many tasks that he has completed over the years.


Grace Cleere.  Grace is an extremely versatile volunteer who has worked for several Mystic Seaport departments. She is enthusiastic in performing her duties whether In the Interpretation department, Membership, Exhibits or the Watercraft Department. She is always ready with a helping hand as she did during the voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, providing support at four different port locations and taking her own personal time and expense to transport other volunteers to the different locations.

Junior Volunteer of the Year

Caroline Morehouse. Caroline volunteered in 2015 in Interpretation and in 2016 with Visitor Services. She showed initiative in each area and learned about the history and value of the Seaport. In the VRC, she drew visitors into the Seaport with her warm smile, pleasant “hello and welcome.” She demonstrated the ability to work independently to engage visitors across the age groups and present a positive first impression of the Seaport.

Special Recognition Award: Staff

This award is presented to a staff member who has worked enthusiastically and efficiently with many Mystic Seaport volunteers.

Nicholas Alley – Captain of the Schooner Brilliant was nominated by volunteers Team Brilliant: “With deepest respect and gratitude for his leadership and all that entails, and all that he does above and beyond the call of duty, and for the satisfaction we feel when we think of what we accomplish under his leadership and support, and the spirit Captain Alley fosters among his Volunteers and Professional Crew.  Captain Alley is a rare leader, possessed of a passion for his mission, shared most generously.”