Our Zoo would not be what it is without our volunteers, and we are always looking for ways to show them how much we appreciate their support! We recently held our annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, where our incredible volunteers were thanked for their service with food, refreshments, awards, special videos and more. It is with warm hearts that we congratulate our 2022 Volunteers of the Year, Michael Musick and Norm Desrosiers!
Each year, we choose one or two volunteers to be recognized for their outstanding service based on recommendations from Zoo staff and other volunteers. After combing through many endorsements, we finalized eight nominees for the award. From that pool, our winners were chosen!
Michael Musick moved to Florida back in 2010 and got a Brevard Zoo membership after visiting. He fell in love with the Zoo and began talking to volunteers on his visits to see how he could get involved. Just before he retired, Michael put in his application! He has now been a Zoo volunteer for four years and serves as a Day Captain. In this role, he oversees the other volunteers on duty. “I love being a Day Captain because I get to walk the whole Zoo and talk to guests!”
Michael has donated over 2,800 hours of his time to the Zoo. He is passionate about animals and what our Zoo does to promote education and conservation. Michael is known by other volunteers for his willingness to help wherever needed, often adding shifts as needed and lending a helping hand.
Norm Desrosiers began visiting the Zoo when he was active-duty Air Force and was stationed at Patrick Air Force Base. All of his life, Norm took care of animals like horses and chickens, noting, “wildlife is for me.” He started volunteering in Paws On at the “touch tank” for around a year before switching to maintenance. Yes, you read that right. Norm donates his time to maintenance projects around the facility. He even has his own radio number to be identified!
He has worked with our maintenance department for four years now, showing up at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for his shift (and adding in extra days as needed). His favorite parts of volunteering are working on special projects with maintenance staff and getting a unique view of the Zoo! “When I get a call, that’s where I go,” said Norm. He will soon spend most of his time in Expedition Africa working on some exciting upcoming renovations with the rest of the maintenance team. So far, Norm has donated over 3,200 hours to the Zoo!
Michael and Norm are just two examples of the incredible volunteers who dedicate their time to Brevard Zoo. Our volunteers make it possible for us to fulfill our important mission work in the areas of animal wellness, conservation and education.
In total, our volunteers donated 110,954 hours of their time to the Zoo in 2022. Their dedication saved the Zoo $1.5 million dollars last year, equating to 48 full-time employees! If you’re interested in becoming a Brevard Zoo volunteer, you can learn more here. Please note that we do not yet have our next training session scheduled, but it will likely occur in the fall.
Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.