National Corvette Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode was honored Wednesday for the opportunities he and the museum provide for volunteers and nonprofit organizations.

Strode was surprised when he was given a Governor’s Citation for Community Volunteerism and Service by Kevin Mays, a board member of the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service. The organization administers the AmeriCorps program in Kentucky and looks for other volunteer and service opportunities in the state.

Mays, a Bowling Green certified public accountant, said the group had its quarterly meeting at the museum in May.

“Through our conversations we learned a lot about what the museum does and felt like it was right in line with our mission,”  Mays said. “We recognize that the use of the facility is a unique way of spreading volunteerism.”

The museum hosts numerous fundraising events for nonprofits at a reduced rate, Strode said. The largest of those events is the Holiday Bash, which benefitted more than a dozen nonprofits in November.

While the museum doesn’t have a regular volunteer corps, it often has volunteers for special events. The museum’s 20th anniversary next year will require a large contingent.

“We have one club from Indianapolis that comes down for a visit and work day,” Strode said. “The club’s members have all kinds of expertise. So they will send someone down a month in advance and pick out all of the projects that they want to work on. They will put in a full day’s work.”

Other car clubs also will visit and help out with maintenance and other things.

Mays said the group also likes the museum’s mission to educate young drivers. The museum has driving simulators often used by student groups and visitors to the museum. And next year, the museum will open its Motorsports Park that also will be used for driver’s education and other activities.

Mays, who has been on the commission board for three years, said the citations aren’t handed out readily.

“We’ve probably just given two of them this year,” he said.

— Robyn L. Minor covers business, environment, transportation and other issues for the Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at or visit

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