NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As a dedicated volunteer for the National Wild Turkey Federation Women in the Outdoors outreach program, Denise Helms has helped countless women get their start outdoors.
In recognition of her incredible work, Helms received the 2015 Annie Oakley Award, the highest honor given to a WITO volunteer. She accepted the award during the 40th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show. RAM is the official convention sponsor.
“I am humbled to receive this award. Everyone who plays a role in volunteering for or organizing our events deserves this award,” Helms said. “Our event is special because we go out of our way to reach women who otherwise would never get to experience the outdoors.”
Annie Oakley might be best known for her shooting skills, but she also influenced generations of women to try something new. The same is true for Helms. Whether she’s mentoring first-time hunters, coordinating her widely successful WITO programs or volunteering her time at the local or state chapter level, she inspires others.
The NWTF determined this year’s award winners based on how their work strengthens the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Already volunteering for the Quail Creek WITO event for a number of years, Helms became the event coordinator in 2010. The event has nearly tripled its participation rate since then, and it also has received the best WITO event honors at the national level three times. More than 300 women now regularly attend the event, with some even coming in from out of state.
“The hunting and outdoor community is one big family, and Denise is hard at work ensuring all women have opportunities to join,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. “The NWTF and the numerous women she has reached are proud of her accomplishments.”
About Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
For more information, contact Peter Muller at (803) 637-7698.