2015 Volunteer of the Year Award Winner
In 2012, Jeffrey Keefe spearheaded a project that has transformed Strawbery Banke Museum and the community of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. His idea was to create a professional outdoor ice-skating rink in open space at the museum that would be affordable and accessible to all in the winter months. Puddle Dock Pond opened in December 2014 and its inaugural winter season drew more than 22,000 skating visits, thanks to Keefe’s vision, passion, and dedication. He co-chaired the Puddle Dock Pond Planning Committee, articulating his vision for the project and performing all of the research needed to develop the site plan, rink design and budget. In order to overcome obstacles with city zoning and variances, Keefe testified at every city hearing and launched a legal defense fund, leading with his own personal contribution. He assembled a pro-bono team of architects, engineers and experts in traffic, lighting and sound. Keefe also led a crew of Rotary volunteers to help construct the pavilion, working in inclement weather from dawn until dusk during the final weeks before opening. The Planning Committee raised over $535,000, which was matched with pro-bono materials and equipment, with over 275 individuals and companies contributing to the project. In gratitude, the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce recognized Keefe as Citizen of the Year in 2014.