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GE Volunteers News

Here are the projects and events we have be doing.  Please consider joining us!

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On March 21 we had 31 Elfuns and GE Volunteers board the Lady Dolphin paddle boat in Daytona Beach Halifax Harbor.  It was a picture perfect blue sky day, just right for a cruise along the Halifax River, having a delicious dinner on-board and then getting to see a rocket launch on the return trip.  A very fun trip with friends and family!

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Pancakes and Boat Tour

On Feb 22 we had over 20 people join us to eat pancakes at the Old Sugar Mill restaurant in the DeLeon Springs State Park on a beautiful spring day. After making our own pancakes and catching up with friends many of us boarded the boat called "The Fountain of Youth”. We were treated to a great tour seeing multiple alligators, white egrets, and many other birds and wildlife. 

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Longstreet School STEM Class

Approximately once a month, a number of GE Volunteers teach an after school math/science class at J.R. Longstreet School in Daytona Beach Shores.  GE Volunteers donated over 100 hours in 2023-2024 school year!

Watching a rocket launch
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Elfun Visit to the Stetson Mansion

On November 29, 2023, a group of 26 Elfuns got a tour of the magnificent award-winning Stetson Christmas Mansion. 

The 1886 Victorian Stetson Mansion is Florida’s most historic home.  It was one of the first homes in the world to be built with Edison electricity because of John B. Stetson’s close relationship with Thomas Edison.  It was the first Florida home constructed with steam heat, indoor plumbing, and a call bell system. 

The Christmas Mansion changes every year and this year was as spectacular as ever.  Every room was more interesting and creative as the next.  The two owners, who live in the home, spend 3 months transforming it into the “Christmas Spectacular.”  Our tour guide told us many interesting facts about Mr. Stetson and how he created one of the first integrated schools by allowing his employees’ children to attend the one-room schoolhouse located on the property. 

The home itself is breath-taking because of its 16 different mosaic parquet wood floor patterns, 10,000 panes of antique glass, and it has been restored by the two owners to keep over 80% of it in its original form.  The memorable tour definitely puts you in the Christmas spirit and was truly a worthwhile experience.

After the tour, our group met for lunch at The Table restaurant where we ate a delicious lunch downstairs in their private room.  It was a nice way to chat with old friends and tell some fun stories about the good ‘ol GE days. 

Ocean

Gone Fishing - Marine Discovery Center

Marine Discovery Center GE Volunteer project allows kids to "catch fish" on dry land

 

Our GE Volunteers helped the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach design a system for kids to learn to recognize different types of fish, fishing regulations and sizes and how to measure them. All while "fishing" in a classroom. About 15 different types of saltwater fish were printed on sturdy pvc board, cutout to the shape of each fish and in multiple sizes. Each fish had a non-sharp hook near their mouth and kids could use a ring attached to a fishing line and wood pole to try and "hook" a fish from a holder. Once they had caught a fish they had to identify the species, measure the size and then determine if it was a legal size to keep. The fish are very realistic, developed with true fish photos and true size, so some of the bigger fish, like barracuda and snook are quite large. It makes for a more realistic activity when a kid is pulling in a 30 inch fish! Many thanks to GE Volunteers Marilyn Wilson, Dennis Montgomery and Jim Kotas for work at the Marine Discovery Center.

Sea Turtle

GE Vols Help Out MDC

Our friends at the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach had a problem with their aquarium top. It was designed as a terrarium so that turtles could climb up out of the water and onto the enclosed terrarium top lid to bask in a small heat lamp. But the original top had been made out of plywood and was starting to decay and fall into the tank. After measuring the top and discussing what was needed by the MDC staff our GE Volunteers built a new replacement top with more durable material. The old top was removed and the new version installed which is now being used by the friendly turtles in the aquarium. Stop by the Marine Discovery Center and check it out. They have some very interesting salt water exhibits and you can see the new terrarium. Many thanks to Lew DeWitt and Jim Kotas for the project.

Ray Johnson Memorial Scholarship committee selects four Recipients 2023

In 2015, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Volusia County, Inc. (formerly Halifax Habitat for Humanity) announced the creation of the Ray Johnson Memorial Scholarship to commemorate the life, and posthumously continue the tradition of dedication and service of this long-time volunteer and friend of HFH of GVC. Through the GE Volunteers, Johnson contributed over 8,000 hours of his time over a 20-year period following his GE retirement in 1993. Johnson served Habitat for Humanity of Greater Volusia County on the Board of Directors, the annual budget committee, and chaired the construction committee. He stood on roofs, nailed trusses, painted walls, and served as a site supervisor. In total, he was involved in building 60 habitat homes in the Daytona area.

 

The Ray Johnson Memorial Scholarship Committee was formed in 2015 with representatives from the local HFH of GVC affiliate, the GE Volunteers, and Ray’s friends. The committee established several requirements for the Scholarship program, which is for the exclusive benefit of qualified HFH of GVC homeowners and/or their resident dependents. In the spring of 2016, the Scholarship Committee selected the first recipients for the fall term of 2016. Scholarship awards for the 2024 fall term will be reviewed in the spring of 2024.

We will continue to need financial help in the years to come to fund this scholarship. If you would like to make a donation for the 2023 Tax year, please make your check payable to:

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Volusia County, Inc. and note on the Memo line that it is for the “Ray Johnson Memorial Scholarship”.

 

Please mail your check to:

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Volusia County, Inc.

1030 W. International Speedway Boulevard - 2nd Floor

Daytona Beach, FL 32114  

MOAS Community Service Award 

 

Recently the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences (MOAS) hells their Annual Meeting and award ceremony.  The first award was for Volunteers of the year and was presented to a local couple in recognition of the many hours they contributed. The 2nd and 3rd awards were to Gale Lemerand, and to Lowell and Nancy Lohman in recognition of their generous financial support of the organization. You can see our GE Volunteers were in good company when we were recognized with the 4th award of the night for Community Service.  The Community Service award is presented in recognition of a community group that is dedicated to supporting the Museum through volunteer work. The interior of the Children's Wing at the MOAS is named the GE Volunteer Exhibit Hall as further recognition of the support provided.

Thank you all for your support of the MOAS and your participation with any of our GE Volunteer projects. Our group continues to make a positive difference in our community, and it is nice to be recognized.

 

Below is a copy of the presentation words from the new MOAS Executive Director, Tabitha Schmidt.

 

The Community Service Award is presented in recognition of a community group that is dedicated to supporting the Museum through volunteer work.

The GE Volunteers is a group of retired GE Engineers who dedicate their time, expertise, and resources to helping the Volusia Community. The GE group has been volunteering to help maintain and improve the William’s Children’s Museum since 2002. It all started with a $7,500 GE grant to assist with exhibitions for the Children’s Museum. Since then the group has raised a total of $101,499 through donations, matching gifts from GE, and various GE grants. Not only have these funds assisted in the upkeep of the Children’s Museum but also to create traveling hands-on exhibitions for Science Night outreaches at elementary and middle schools within Volusia and Flagler County.

The GE Volunteers are not only dedicated to the Museum’s mission but also provide support to various non-profits within Volusia County. They are committed to our community with Habitat for Humanity, teach an after school science and math class once a month to 5th graders at R.J. Longstreet Elementary School, assisted with repairs and renovations at the Beacon Center, and repairs and renovations for Lillian Place and the Heritage Preservation Trust.

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