Contact: Tom Gillespie

ASHEBORO N.C. –The North Carolina Zoo has awarded 109 volunteers with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national honor offered in recognition of volunteer service. Established in 2003, the award is given annually to individuals, groups, and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering. As one of thousands of certifying organizations participating in the award program, the N.C. Zoo confers the award to recognize the outstanding achievements of its volunteers. The zoo has a long history of volunteer service. During 2007, more than 280 volunteers committed more than 35,500 hours serving as exhibit interpreters, wildlife rehab volunteers, “kidZone” play guides, zoo hosts, gardeners, retail volunteers, and more.

“In his 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush created the USA Freedom Corps and called on every American to make a lifelong commitment to volunteer service”, said Toy Jarrett, the zoo’s volunteer services coordinator. “The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals and families who have answered that call.  Volunteers are an integral part of the N.C. Zoo”, Jarrett added. “And as a certifying organization for the award program the N.C. Zoo is proud to be aligned with this prestigious volunteer award. We are especially proud of our volunteers who have made volunteer service a central part of their lives. These award recipients are role models for all Americans.”

The award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group created by President Bush to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making to our nation. Chaired by two-time Super Bowl champion Darrell Green, with former U.S. senators Bob Dole and John Glenn as honorary co-chairs, the Council comprises leaders in government, media, entertainment, business, education, nonprofits, and volunteer service organizations and community volunteering.

For more information about volunteering for the N.C. Zoo contact Toy Jarrett at 336-879-7712 or complete an online application at  For more information about how to qualify for the President’s Volunteer Service Award and to find out how to identify additional volunteer opportunities in this area visit or call 1-866-545-5307.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Dept. of Environment & Natural Resources William G. Ross Jr. Secretary; Michael F. Easley Governor.