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State Honoree

Evan Shore

New Jersey

Evan Shore, 17, of Watchung, N.J., a junior at The Pingry School in Martinsville, created and runs the Noah’s Ark Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps museums, zoos and aquariums generate additional operating revenue by providing their gift shops with custom-embroidered clothing at manufacturer’s cost. “When I was very young, my father would often take me to visit the American Museum of Natural History in New York,” Evan said. “Early on, these trips taught me that I could not only learn from visiting museums, I could also have a lot of fun. I wanted to give something back.” After discovering that gift-shop sales are a major contributor to museum profitability, Evan and two partners developed a business plan and product samples, and approached a buyer for the Associated Humane Society – who loved the design and gave them their first order. Over the past three years the Noah’s Ark Foundation has produced shirts, hats, jackets, scarves and attaché cases – all with custom logos – for more than 30 institutions in 10 states, and has enabled its customers to earn more than $200,000 on the sale of these products for the support of their organizations. “There is a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction associated with helping others,” said Evan.