Honoring Tom Greer with the 2022 Laura Singleton Exceptional Volunteer Award!

By Gabriel Durham, Volunteer Manager

Each February, Houston Audubon hosts a Volunteer Picnic to present the annual Laura Singleton Exceptional Volunteer Award and celebrate the collective contributions of our valued volunteers. To best understand the award, it is good to understand the contributions of Laura Singleton herself.

Lauded as the “consummate soldier in Audubon’s army”, over the years Laura served as a board member, organized Birdathon, ran the Speakers Bureau, planned and executed the very first auctions for the organization, and was integral in the fundraising that made our High Island sanctuaries a reality. Each of these accomplishments was carried out with an enthusiasm and humor that drew countless other volunteers to the organization, many saying she was “impossible to turn down”. She was the recipient of the 1998 Exceptional Volunteer Award and on the date of her passing in 2002, the award was named the “Laura Singleton Exceptional Volunteer Award” in her honor.

Since then, many volunteers have been honored in her name for exceptional contributions to the organization, and Houston as a whole. Mary Carter was honored in 2015 for her integral contributions to our Land Trust Accreditation among many other accolades. The following year, Ben Hulsey was honored for his volunteerism as well as spearheading the acquisition of two vehicles for Houston Audubon, including the Birdmobile which transports our education team to programs throughout the region. Julie d’Ablaing was able to gather seeds and grow out plants to make the sale of 4,500 native plants in a single year possible. Last year, Winnie Burkett was recognized for decades of commitment to Houston Audubon in which she greatly expanded our sanctuary system.

This year, we honor Tom Greer for equally wonderful contributions to Houston Audubon over many years. In his nominations, a clear theme of lasting commitment, positivity, and truly systemic helpfulness was evident – core values of the Laura Singleton legacy. As key leader of the Trail Crew at Edith L. Moore, Tom is in the sanctuary every single week (sometimes multiple days a week) assisting visitors, weeding, doing repairs, and being an overall exceptional ambassador. One nominator had to say: “Tom is always friendly and amazingly creative in how he helps us fix things. I can always count on him to help us keep the sanctuary running.” If you are walking on a clean even trail, you likely have Tom to thank. So, on behalf of the entire Houston Audubon community, thank you Tom!

If you would like to join us in honoring Tom and our exceptional volunteer community, we will be gathering in the cabin at Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 12th. A registration link can be found at the bottom of this blog. There will be fun, food, and stories about Tom to celebrate his unique impact within Houston Audubon.

Hope to see you there!

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