The Numismatic Ambassador Award has been honoring the volunteers that make the coin hobby tick for 44 years.
Making this ongoing effort possible is the Florida United Numismatists organization.
FUN took over responsibility for the award after Numismatic News bowed out with the winners of 2014.
The award had been created in 1974 by Clifford Mishler because he believed many volunteers were the unsung heroes of the hobby.
Clubs would not exist, shows would not be held, and talks would not be given except for the volunteers who make things work.
Today, we would probably say that Mishler wanted to give these people a shout out.
Back in the 1970s, we probably would have said we wanted to give a pat on the back or say “atta boy.”
Mishler was publisher of Numismatic News, and the paper was the sponsor of the award 1974-2014.
At the Ambassador Breakfast in 2014, I announced the end of the award.
This proved not to be true.
FUN responded with a generous proposal to continue the program.
Under the guidance of Tony Swicer, FUN has conducted the award in a manner very similar to how it was done under Numismatic News.
Dare I say that FUN does it better?
I feel that I should.
There is a certain sense of satisfaction that can be derived from the fact that a program that honors volunteers is now conducted by volunteers.
That pleases me.
It also pleases me that I have been able to emcee award breakfasts and give out award plaques at the FUN shows each January.
Mishler has jumped in to perform that duty when I was unable to.
Now you can see the evidence of this on the FUN website.
There is now a Numismatic Ambassador Award tab.
Mishler is seen happily giving this year’s awards in photos taken in January at the FUN Ambassador breakfast.
You can find me in the older photos covering the 2015-2017.
There is also a complete list of Ambassador Award recipients 1974-2014.
Take a look at this list.
You might be surprised by how many of these individuals you know or have heard about.
Thanks, Tony, for improving this award and making it Numismatic Ambassador Award 2.0.
Thanks, FUN, for assuring a continuation of this tradition.
I can’t wait to find out who will be honored at the 2019 breakfast in Orlando.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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