2018 SpinSheet Volunteer of the Year Bob Battista of Baltimore County Sailing Center

Congratulations to the Winner!

After gathering an outstanding list of reader nominations and voting in mid-January, our staff has chosen the 2018 SpinSheet Volunteer of the Year: Bob Battista of Baltimore County Sailing Center (BCSC).

Bob Battista and a Special Olympian at BCSC

BCSC executive director Rob Deane says, “Bob is essentially a full-time volunteer at BCSC.” Here are some of his contributions:

“He serves as the secretary on the board of directors, handling all administrative functions of the board: compiles the minutes, orchestrates scheduling, and oversees our governance. He represents the center at county recreation council meetings and was instrumental in securing a house for our staff, saving the center thousands of dollars. During my time at the center, Bob has never missed a meeting. That means that in 2018 he spent a minimum of 74 hours just in meetings, not to mention the preparation and compiling of the minutes.

“He maintains 23 powerboats for the center! Bob organizes and leads a team of volunteers that come weekly to work on our outboard engines. He completes all of the routine maintenance and repairs almost every component of the engines. I have no way to estimate the financial impact of his efforts, but will tell you that I am simply amazed that after a year of abuse, only one boat was sent to the mechanic in 2018. Bob estimates that he spent 148 hours to this effort, but I will tell you he is too humble and it was way more. As importantly, his effort to get other skilled volunteers to the center for the work team has resulted in hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours completing critical work. They built boat racks and sail racks, repaired trailers, delivered fuel, and much more.

“Bob arrived at the center long ago because of his involvement in the Special Olympics sailing program. 2018 was a year of transition as Bob decided he wouldn’t sail. His years of sailing with the same athlete took him to the regatta at St. Mary’s College every year and even to Greece one year. While he felt he shouldn’t sail, Bob wasn’t going to stay away. He served as a safety boat every week for training and travelled to St. Mary’s once again, this time as a mark and safety boat.

“Bob is involved in every one of our events. He didn’t miss a minute when we hosted the Junior Olympics. He stood in the rain at the Towson Festival to tell families about camp. He donated time, money, and auction items to our annual fundraiser.

“Bob estimates 340 total hours in 2018. I am certain it is well over 500. His impact is huge! I can’t say enough about him as he is my closest advisor and counsel. He will sit and brainstorm with me, listen to and test my ideas, and always has a grounded and wise view on issues. I rely on him constantly, and he has always charged in to help move BCSC forward.”

Bob says, “I get a great deal of enjoyment helping at BCSC and also Special Olympics. Since retiring, I can remain active by coordinating efforts and personnel to accomplish the goals of the center. It provides great opportunities for children to learn to respect the Bay, as well as gain skills that will help them in school.”

Congratulations, Bob! Thank you for making a difference and inspiring others to give back to the sailing community. In honor of your efforts, SpinSheet will make a donation to BCBS.

If you’re interested in sailing or volunteering your time at BCBS, click to bcsailing.org.