NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As dedicated volunteers for the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Women in the Outdoors outreach program, Jennifer Ford and Kelly Dalbec have helped countless women get their start outdoors.
In recognition of their tireless work, Ford and Dalbec were co-honored with the Annie Oakley Award, the highest honor given to Women in the Outdoors volunteers. They accepted the award during the 41st annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show in Nashville.
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 Ford and Dalbec.
“I am proud to accept this award on behalf of our entire [Central Mass WITO] committee and all of our volunteers. It truly is a team effort,” said Ford, from Holden, Massachusetts. “It was not that long ago that I was the student learning these same skills. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to give back and pass along the excitement of the outdoors to other women.”
Dalbec, of Rutland, Massachusetts, agreed. “I am honored to be a 2017 Annie Oakley award winner, representing all of the Massachusetts WITO volunteers,” she said. “They are the best of the best, who over the last 5 years have shared their skills and knowledge, inspiring woman of all ages to step outside and try something new.”
The NWTF determined this year’s award winners based on how their work strengthens the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Ford and Dalbec met as attendees of a Basic Hunter Education Class after each developed an interest in hunting and shooting sports. From there, they have come full circle and now are hunting mentors, instructors and organizing Central Mass WITO events.
“Jennifer, Kelly and the many WITO volunteers across the country help ensure, each day, women experience our wild places and outdoor lifestyle,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. “The NWTF is proud of their accomplishments and is excited about the great things these two women will do for the future of hunting and the outdoors.”
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, recruit or reactivate 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.