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Contact: B.G. Horvat, 252-728-2250, ext. 3014
HARKERS ISLAND, NC – Cape Lookout National Seashore selects Marcel Plathe as the Volunteer of the Year for 2016. This annual award goes to the volunteer who best demonstrates exceptional commitment to public service and volunteerism while working at the Seashore.
“We are proud to recognize Marcel Plathe as volunteer of the year,” said Acting Superintendent Mike Gauthier, “Marcel was noted by park staff for getting the job done while supporting others with an eye for safety. He embodied public service and teamwork, and we are exceptionally honored to have him on the Cape Lookout team.”
Marcel volunteered over 460 hours at various locations in the park. He often worked behind the scenes to support many park operations, including the park’s 50th Anniversary and National Park Service Centennial Celebration. He was always responsive and helpful, showing up with a smile and a supportive, “can-do” attitude. All of this combined greatly enhanced the experience for all visitors at Cape Lookout National Seashore.
Born on a family farm in Minnesota and raised in California, Marcel embraced the importance of hard work and dedication from his father, with an emphasis towards skilled craftsmanship. These principles supported a lifelong desire to serve his country and to take pride in his work.
In 1976, Plathe graduated from college and joined the U.S. Navy serving as a Teamster overseas for six years. He turned his stint in the Navy into a job rehabbing property in Boulder City, Nevada, where he focused on improving city infrastructure. From there, he joined the National Park Service at Lake Mead and later transitioned to the Bureau of Reclamation, where he turned his craftsman skills and dedication to public service into rehabilitation historic buildings.
After retirement, Marcel was drawn to the NPS. During a road trip visiting national parks, he stopped at the Gulf Islands National Seashore and decided to volunteer by assisting the maintenance team. From there, it was on to Cape Lookout.
Aside from his commitment to preserving public lands, Marcel enjoys volunteering with veterans groups. He spends his free time taking trips on his motorcycle and fishing.
Marcel's enthusiasm and dedication paired with his interest in preserving public lands has had a very positive effect on Cape Lookout. The staff at the park are very grateful for the energy he has contributed.
With this honor, Mr. Plathe’s name will appear on the park’s ‘VIP of the Year’ plaque, which is on display in the Harkers Island Visitor Center. Please join us in congratulating Marcel Plathe.
In 2016, 19,507 volunteer hours of service were contributed to Cape Lookout National Seashore. Park volunteers assisted on assignments throughout the park at Portsmouth Village, Long Point and Great Island Cabin Camps, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse operation, the Keeper's Quarters Museum, and visitor center information desk duties.
Currently, Cape Lookout National Seashore is seeking folks from the local (Carteret County) community who are interested in an opportunity to help the park as a Lighthouse Crew Assistant during the 2017 Summer season. The position is considered moderate/strenuous in nature, involving the ability to climb the 207 stairs up to 6 times per day, for an 8-hour day (16 - 32 hours per week). For more information, contact BG Horvat, Chief of Interpretation, at (252) 728-2250, ext. 3005, or email e-mail us.