PBY Memorial seeking assistance of volunteers for tours, office help

The PBY Catalina Memorial on Seaplane Base, “stretched a little thin” for volunteers, is seeking help with both group tours and office work.

And despite assumptions, PBY Memorial Director William Stein said volunteers don’t need to have any particular skill set to volunteer, and the number of hours is flexible.

“You can do one hour a week, you can come every day. We need a patchwork of volunteers, young and old,” Stein said. “A warm body and a warm heart is all that is required.”

In particular, the memorial has been short on volunteers during children group tours of the PBY aircraft and in the museum itself.

Tours for adults and children in the aircraft must be supervised by staff, and children need to be watched throughout the property, Stein said.

So those with any type of customer service or child supervision skills are welcome to apply.

“But it’s not just the kids or the large groups, it’s the everyday stuff we need help with,” Stein said.

Those with simply a love of history can apply to be a docent for memorial visitors, and anyone with any phone or computer skills are welcome.

In addition to the general volunteer opportunities, Stein said anyone with curating or museum experience would obviously be very helpful.

The PBY Memorial Foundation was established in 1998 and is dedicated to the preservation of Naval aviation history, the PBY Catalina, and the Seaplane Base.

With the initial mission to preserve the PBY and all seaplanes once based at Whidbey Island, the foundation now tries to preserve all aircraft once based on the island from 1942 to the present.

Stein said that while volunteering at the memorial can be a “good time,” it’s also a great resume builder and recommendation letters can be written for volunteers.

Stein, a retired Air Force master sergeant, admits he’s never spent a day in the Navy. So, he joked, “if I can do it, anyone can.”

For more information about volunteering, email, or call 360-240-9500.


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