September 29, 2017 (Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) honored eight volunteers with service awards at its annual volunteer luncheon at the museum on Sept. 25. From July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, 661 volunteers contributed 59,696 service hours. This equates to almost $1.5 million in economic value to the museum.

“Our dedicated volunteers help us fulfill the DIA’s mission of creating experiences that help visitors find personal meaning in art individually and with each other,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA director. “We are happy to honor them, and thank them for their valuable service to the DIA and our visitors.”

The DIA’s Volunteer Council, which celebrates its 55th anniversary this year, comprises six committees serving various areas of the museum. Awards to a volunteer in each committee went to:

Detroit Film Theater Ushers: Steven Davis, Ferndale 

Gallery Information: Susan Jones, Davisburg

Gallery Service: Howard Thomas, Royal Oak

Interpretive Programs Volunteers: Marjorie Fein, Grosse Pointe Shores

Museum Shop Volunteers: Stephanie Yashinsky, Bloomfield Twp.

Staff Aides:  Susan Deacon, Livonia

Two special service awards were also given.

The Luther Chaney Sunshine Award was presented to Louise Haener of Riverview. The award is named after a former security officer known for exemplary customer service and is granted to a volunteer, who during the current volunteer year, has demonstrated exceptional helpfulness and friendliness to the public inside or outside the museum and to other volunteers and staff.

The Distinguished Service Award went to Michael Chall of Livonia. It is given to a volunteer who, through long-term service and outstanding dedication, made an exceptional contribution as a member of the volunteer council.

The longest-serving volunteers honored with service pins are Mary Ann Lawlis of Grosse Pointe Woods for 45 years and Diane Kaplan of West Bloomfield for 40 years.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.