Maryland -(AmmoLand.com)- The Waterfowl Festival is thrilled to announce its 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees: Joan Crowley and Kim and Ron Newcomb.
They will be officially inducted during Opening Ceremonies on Thursday evening, November 11.
Getting her start as a volunteer in the one of the Festival's art exhibits, Joan Crowley's warmth, strong organizational skills and keen eye for artistic talent made her stand out. She quickly rose to be chairman of the exhibit and a member of the Festival Board of Directors. Joan's charm and personality brought out the best in both volunteers and artists – the backbone of each Festival weekend. Her leadership skills ensured smooth operations during the hectic weekends. These talents inevitably resulted in her election to the Presidency of the Festival.
During her term as President in 2001 and 2002, Joan spearheaded an ambitious project to make Festival Headquarters, a previous National Guard Armory built in 1929, accessible for the disabled. The project led to the Festival's becoming eligible for the substantial annual grants it continues to receive from the Maryland State Arts Council. At the helm, Joan worked endlessly to sustain the status of the Waterfowl Festival as a nationally renowned wildlife art event.
Joan's continued involvement and enthusiasm as a Festival volunteer of 27 years is invaluable. Joan says she is most proud of the Festival's “longevity. It has outlasted most of the other similar festivals in the nation.” She attributes that longevity to the community's vast number of devoted volunteers who make artists feel so welcome at the Festival. She says she is going to accept her induction into the Hall of Fame “on behalf of all those volunteers.”
The husband-wife team of Kim and Ron Newcomb are “extremely thrilled” about their induction into the Hall of Fame. Kim began volunteering with the Festival as a teenager while Ron also got his start with waterfowl artifacts as a teen. He began collecting decoys and carvings at age 12 and took up taxidermy soon after. Kim's first assignment at the Festival was at the Artifacts Exhibit simply “because that's where they needed me.” It was a good match! She and Ron have 30-plus years as Festival exhibitors, 20-plus years as Festival volunteers, and 18 years as Artifacts Exhibit chairmen. Kim has served on the Festival Board of Directors and in recognition of their efforts, the Newcombs received the prestigious Festival President's Award.
Kim is the first woman to chair the Artifacts Exhibit and also met her husband Ron there. “I am in this up to my eyebrows,” she chuckled. She said she is most excited when a visitor to the exhibit leaves saying, “I didn't know that.” She believes passionately in the importance of preserving waterfowl artifacts and the history they represent. She sees the work that she and Ron do with the Artifacts Exhibit as an important aspect of educating the public. “The Artifacts Exhibit is one of the cornerstones of the Festival,” she said. Ron shares her strong feelings about the importance of waterfowl artifacts. “It's all a part of our history and heritage, very much part of life here on the Eastern Shore.”
Today, Ron said he is most proud of the Festival's reputation.