Harry Kolcum Awards presented at NSCFLC November 2017
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — On November 14, 2017, the National Space Club Florida Committee (NSCFLC) November 2017 luncheon kicked off with the Pledge of Allegiance and the introduction of their 2017–2018 Chairperson Patty Stratton who was introduced by Dale Ketchum. The day’s event focused on the 2017 Harry Kolcum News & Communications Award. This year’s recipients will be a group of 11 professional visual journalists including launch photography mainstay Craig Bailey and a very special gentleman – a veteran in space center education and communications – Mr. Nick Thomas.
The event centered around the Harry Kolcum News & Communications Award, which is named in honor of the late Edward H. “Harry” Kolcum. Shortly after NASA was formed, Harry Kolcum was briefly, in 1959, the space agency’s news chief at its headquarters in Washington. Afterward, in 1960, he went on to become the managing editor and later the senior editor of Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, where he had worked for a period of 33 years. In 1980, Kolcum was named the senior editor at Cape Canaveral until his retirement in 1993. He passed away from cancer on August 15, 1994.
At the luncheon event, Patty Stratton introduced Jim Banke who went on to introduce the award recipients. Also on hand were past award winners like Hugh Harris, the voice commentator of exactly 100 manned and unmanned space launches, as well as Andrea Farmer, the former Senior Communications and Content Manager at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC).
Nick Thomas is a communicator for Delaware North at the KSCVC, and, for over 30 years, he has brought education, enlightenment, and his love for space to daily guests of the visitor complex, which is estimated to be in the millions. Nick joined the team at the visitor complex in 1987 and stayed on board through the many incarnations of the operating agencies tasked with running the KSCVC.
Among Nick Thomas’ many duties are the daily briefings at KSCVC on the current missions and up-to-date happenings aboard the International Space Station. He also conducts the public meet-and-greet of flown space program astronauts with the KSCVC Astronaut Encounter. Thomas took to the podium first and regaled everyone about his beginnings and thanked everyone, then he led a toast by asking everyone to stand and raise their glasses.
“To our country, to our space program – thank you very much,” Nick Thomas said.
Florida Today had 11 of its photographers awarded as well today (Nov. 14) for their tireless contributions during the 30-year history of the Space Shuttle Program. Among them included with Craig Bailey were Malcolm Denemark and Tim Shortt. Also included were former colleagues Mike Brown, Pat Jerrell, Rik Jesse, Delinda Karnem Hood, Scott Maclay, the late Bob McDonald, Craig Rubadoux, and Amanda Stratford.
After introducing the rest of the attendees being awarded and giving a small bio on each recipient, Jim Banke introduced Malcolm Denemark, the final awardee of the 2017 Harry Kolcum Award. He then took to the Podium and recounted his experiences photographing the Space Shuttle Program and how proud he was of the team that he has worked with over the last 30-odd years, but not before showing off Florida Today’s newest logo (just released this month) for branding on the Internet.
The logo includes a rocket, subliminal planets, and star while hinting that SpaceX, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance could buy some additional space on top of the rocket. Denemark went on to speak about the team with anecdotes about their careers shooting images of the Space Shuttle Program. Then he thanked the attendees and the NCSFLC for the honor of receiving the award on behalf of the Florida Today team.
“We really appreciate this honor, and we are all truly honored to be receiving this, and we thank you very much,” Malcolm Denemark said.
A native of Lonedell, Missouri, Michael McCabe is a former Long Island firefighter and emergency medical technician. He is a non-active Florida EMT with 20 years of fire rescue experience. He is also a lifelong science fiction and space enthusiast. At the age of 10, he watched in his school classroom as the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986. In 2008, he moved to the Sunshine State and works as a private tour guide at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for a private company based in Orlando. McCabe has been a fan of SpaceFlight Insider since our inception in 2013. He reached out to ask how he could assist our efforts to spread space flight awareness. Shortly thereafter, he was welcomed into our expanding team.