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Park service relies upon its volunteers

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, volunteers donate more than 4.1 billion hours annually, contributing $122.9 billion each year to the U.S. economy.

These volunteers donate much more than their energy and professional knowledge; they give the organization their most precious commodity: their time.

Volunteers also can provide continuity and fill in for full-time positions when institutions face layoffs, high staff turnover, or have vacant positions. Working quietly in the background, these individuals contribute to an organization’s mission, even if that institution fails to express gratitude for what they do.

As members of an organization that relies on volunteers to support many diverse programs, we must honor our volunteers. I want to celebrate each by sharing what makes them unique and interesting. In part because recognition matters and because if the public knows the fantastic people volunteering at the park, they might want to join our volunteer force.

Today, I want to celebrate Andrew Cattoir, one of our newest and most industrious volunteers at Lake Mead National Recreation Area NRA. In 1979, Andrew began his career as a photographer. The Professional Photographers of Nevada PPN awarded him the Photographer of the Year award in 1981. Cattoir used his art to create three successful businesses in Boulder City, and he worked as a Visual Information Specialist for Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Retired now, Andrew makes time each week to volunteer for the Public Affairs Shop. He chooses to spend time volunteering because, as he puts it, Boulder City is his home, and the lake matters to him. Andrew is currently working on updating the bulletin boards and wayside displays at the trailheads and campgrounds.

Cattoir is a long-term resident of Boulder City. He and his wife, Debbie, were high school sweethearts. Besides his many volunteer activities, Andrew spent 43 years as a drummer for “The Junkyard Dogs.” His background in music, graphic design, filming, and editing enabled him to partner with Clark County to create a video for the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Park Service Video (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov).

For those who live in Boulder City, if you have a moment to pop into Boulder Dam Credit Union, the photos on display are by Andrew Cattoir. Installed 16 years ago, the bank unveiled a new photo collection Sept. 19 that Andrew curated; the images together represent the soul of Boulder City.

A favorite quote of Andrew comes from legendary drummer Neil Peart: “We’re only immortal for a limited time.” It is a reminder to use your time wisely. Service to others can bring intrinsic reward to many, but when you use your limited time as a volunteer, it is nice to hear the often-overlooked phrase, “Thank you, and I appreciate all you do.”

Traci Decker is a Public Affairs Specialist for Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)

Me, my brother and Silo Sam

Recently, I’ve been enjoying watching shows on A&E related to professional wrestling back in the earlier days, with profiles on wrestlers I grew up watching as well as classic rivalries.

Let’s talk about the ‘D Word’

OK, as a starting point, I must note that it’s weird to think that I might be writing something that would put me in agreement with the Language Police.

Make a new plan, Stan

A plan is a method for achieving a desirable objective. It’s a program of action, usually memorialized in writing. Plans start with goals and ideas. But ideas alone (even good ones) don’t constitute a plan.

Time to recognize unsung heroes

We have so many functions within the Boulder City Police Department, from school resource officers to road patrol to the detective bureau. The work that they do keeps Boulder City among the “Safest Cities in Nevada” (newhomesource.com, alarm.com) year after year. One unit is the backbone of our public safety response: Public Safety Dispatchers.

Honoring National Public Health Week

In my eight decades of this amazing life, I have worn a great many hats: son, brother, father, major (USAF), grandfather, council member, state representative, state senator.