March 24, 2013 - Sunday at BTS
Women Divers Hall of Fame Brunch this morning. WDHOF is an organization dedicated to recognizing and honoring the contributions of women divers. Its members are the pioneers, leaders, innovators and world record holders throughout the international diving community. Their areas of expertise spans the arts, science, medicine, exploration and technology, marine archaeology, business, media, training and education, safety, commercial and military diving, free diving and underwater sports. Currently, there are 186 members in the Women Divers Hall of Fame, hailing from 30 U.S. states and Territories and 12 countries. I talked briefly with Genie Clark, gave her a pendant I got for her in Tonga and messages from mutual friends in Egypt. At the brunch, I met some our of new Inductees, placed some unsuccessful bids in the silent auction, and caught up on news with Stan Waterman (SRI's president emeritus -- still active at 90), filmmaker Nancy McGee, Lynn Funkhauser, Anne Doubilet, Dr. Maida Tayler, Martha Watkins-Gilkes and Bonnie Toth. The WDHoF scholarship and training grant winners were introduced at the brunch -- they are all amazing young women (see http://www.wdhof.org/scholarships/scholarships.shtml.) Then I was off to the Ocean Pals theater to hear Dean Fessler’s presentation and view the entries in the Ocean Pals Poster Contest for Children. It is an education-through-art program run by JoAnn Zigahn to encourage young people around the world to become aware of and share their concerns for the marine environment through poster art. This year’s theme was Save the Sharks. While some posters were true works of art, every entry displayed was a winner in my book! At right is a poster by Kwan Sze Wai from Hong Kong, China, the 1st place winner in the International Division. No matter what the theme of the poster contest each year, kids think outside the box and their posters hit the mark.
Before the show closed, a lot of friends and SRI volunteers had dropped into SRI’s booth including Carolyn Nickels, Joe Romeiro, Matt Potenski, Debra and Vince Canabal, Jay Ireland, Georgienne Bradley, Marc McNulty, Joe Pakan, and Dan Lieb and many more. Exhibitors also stopped by with generous donations for our spring auction: Pascal Lecocq, photographer Sandra Critelli, glass artist Jeremy Smikus, Epic Diving, Fun Baja Diving, and John Fountain CEO of Octomask donated a new facemask designed to hold a Go-Pro camera. And what would we do without Chris, Mario & Tori Romo who staffed our booth throughout the weekend (Tori joined SRI when she was only 10, and now she is 19 – time flies and kids grow up so fast)! After the show closed and we packed up our booth, we hosted our annual post-BTS dinner at Cheeseburgers in Paradise (it serves yummy fried pickles.)