Robin and Thomas Paine
VOLUNTEERS IN ACTION
Tom and Robin Paine are the Retired and Senior Volunteer
Program (RSVP) Volunteers of the Month for April 2023.
They were nominated by Laurie Switzer from the USS Midway Museum.
Lifelong volunteers, Tom and Robin met five decades ago in high school while volunteering as counselors for a 6th grade science camp. Although the couple “tied the knot” close to 50years ago, they are still tying knots today on board the USS Midway Museum. Both volunteer with the Midway’s Knot Team to produce knotted items, including bracelets and keychains, which then are offered to museum guests in exchange for donations that go to support higher education for local high
school students. This “Bravo Zulu” scholarship fund has given more than 144 scholarships since inception, and the Knot Team has just exceeded one million dollars raised!
Both Robin and Tom take the Midway story out to the public as members of the Outreach Team. They engage with the public as ambassadors for the museum at fairs, parades, and airshows. Over the years, they each have also made notable contributions to the Midway’s education programs and have served on the museum’s Radio Team, which conducts HAM radio events the second Saturday of each month (Call Sign: NI6IW).
Tom also currently serves on the Safety Team. He assists museum guests, assuring that they find their way around, safely, on the “city at sea”. The aircraft carrier can be tricky to navigate and there are elements of a ship that one might not find in a typical museum housed in a building. Having volunteers out and about to greet guests and support them in their experience is at the core of the Safety Team’s mission.
Tom and Robin’s commitment to the Midway spans over a decade. Both love to volunteer and cherish many special moments from volunteering. Robin shares that her most memorable experience involved participating in a parade "watching the crowd’s excited reaction as volunteers traveled the parade route with the inflatable USS Midway Carrier.” Tom’s most memorable moment was connecting via radio with people on the tiny, remote island of St. Helena, 1,250 miles off the coast of Africa in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean.
Director of Volunteer Programs, Laurie Switzer, shares, “Many would say these two are unsung heroes, often going above and beyond, offering support to multiple teams, and bringing a sincere love of humanity to all who come in contact with them.”
Congratulations and thank you to Tom and Robin for your service to the community!