New Jersey State Chapter
of the
National Wild Turkey Federation

William E. Smith
Volunteer of the Year Award

William E. Smith
March 12, 1957 - January 30, 2000

Bill Smith was a Co-founder of the Central Jersey Limbhangers Chapter of the NWTF. An avid turkey hunter and conservationist, he served as Banquet Chairman, Vice-President and member of the the New Jersey State Chapter, NWTF Board of Directors.

He is remembered well by those who knew and loved him. The following exerpt is from the Central Jersey Limbhangers Banquet Program from 2000:

W.Smith photo


This year's banquet is being dedicated to Bill, one of the founders of this chapter. He was this year's Banquet Chairman and Vice President, as well as a member of the State Board of the National Wild Turkey Federation, who recently passed away. His memories will always be with all of those who knew him. His love of the outdoors, his family, and his cause towards helping others will always be remembered. The hard work and dedication that he has put forth with everyting that he was involved with will not go un-noticed. We as a whole will try to continue in his footsteps towards the continued support of this cause, and what he felt so strongly about, the restoration and conservation of the Native Wild Turkey. MAY HE REST IN PEACE!
THE AWARD
The William E. Smith Award is presented annually to the outstanding volunteer in New Jersey. The award consists of an engraved trophy, a plaque, and a turkey gun. The winner gets to keep the plaque and gun, but the trophy, which is engraved with all winners' names, is presented to the next winner at the next Awards Banquet

The Trophy consists of a silver bowl sitting on a square walnut pedastal. Panels on the pedastal are engraved with the recipients name and the year of the award. The bowl on the trophy is engraved:

William E. Smith Conservation Award

In Recognition of His Dedication to the Conservation of the Wild Turkey
Demonstrated by His Legacy of Outstanding Leadership, and Service

The New Jersey State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation<
Hereby Dedicates This Conservation Award in Memory of
William E. Smith
To The Outstanding Volunteer of the Year
Who Best Demonstrated These Commendable Qualities

THE RECIPIENTS
2014

TBA
Awards Banquet 2015

2013

Not Awarded

2012

James Salt

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
Jim Salt
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2012.

Jim Salt is the State Chapter Vice President, our Show And Sales Chairman, and is active in our Thunder Mountain Committee. As an outstanding volunteer, turkey hunter, Chapter Vice President, and Show and Sales Chairman, Additionally, Jim does advanced field work in association with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, and our Regional Biologist, Bob Eriksen. Jim has previously been awarded the Robert Eriksen Conservation Award in recognition of his oustanding field work for the wild turkey.

Jim Salt works tirelessly and attends every Open House, Sportsman's Show, Calling Contest, and Seminar to promote the NWTF through our Show and Sales Program. He never tires of demonstrating turkey calls to new, future, young or old, turkey hunters. Jim also works his tail off at our Annual Thunder Mountain Work Parties where we have been cutting back autumn olive to keep it at bay as we maintain meadows for turkey habitat.

2011

Not Awarded

2010

Rich "Uncle Dickie" Kinney

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded

Richard "Uncle Dickie" Kinney
The William E. Smith Volunteer of the Year Award.
2010

The New Jersey State Chapter, Board of Directors is proud to recognize this fine volunteer for the work he does for the NWTF and for the benefit of our favorite gamebird - the wild turkey. Uncle Dickie has been an intgral part of the State Chapter's Show and Sales events for years. He is a custom turkey call maker and provides the State Chapter with calls for our sales at public events such as the Annual NJ Sportsmen's Show and the Pequest Open House. Uncle Dickie (along with his wife Noella) is the driving force behind the Kittatinny Gobblers Chapter. As President and Banquet Chairman, Uncle Dickie has kept the KGC chapter alive and kicking.

This gentleman routinely attends many local banquets and helps out wherever he can. He attends shows and helps with the Shows and Sales. He routinely provides his products for several banquets at a reduced price and some are outright donations.

Uncle Dickie was recently involved in an accident and suffered serious, life-threatening injuries to his ribs and spine (11 Broken Ribs, 4 Cracked Vertebrea & a Punctured Lung). Fortunately, he is doing well in his recovery.

In spite of his injuries Uncle Dickie has scheduled the Kittatinny Gobblers 2011 Banquet for April 30, 2011.

As an outstanding volunteer, turkey hunter, Chapter President, and Turkey Call Maker. the New Jersey State Chapter is proud to have Rich Kinney, our 2008 Volunteer of the Year.

2009

Francis Makowski

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
Francis Makowski
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2009.

Frank Makowski has been an outstanding volunteer within the Spruce Run Chapter and as a director on the New Jersey State Board. Frank is an officer of the Spruce Run Chapter and takes a major role in planning and executing of the Spruce Run Jakes Fishing Day hosted each year by the Spruce Run Chapter. He is a key committee member in planning and setting up the chapter's Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet.

Tim Blum, the State Jakes Coordinator, and Spruce Run Banquet Chairman, nominated Frank for this award, and highlighted his outstanding volunteer work in his nomination for this award.

2008

Ray Eriksen

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
Ray Eriksen
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2008.

Anyone who knows Ray, knows that he is a tireless volunteer and puts in numerous hours helping at local chapters' banquets, the State Awards Banquet, and the Thunder Mountain Project.

In spite of his physical limtations, Ray works his tail off every year at Thunder Mountain. His work at Thunder Mountain has made substantial contributions to the control of autumn olive at the site.

The New Jersey State Chapter of the NWTF is proud to have this outstanding voluteer as part of our chapter, and our committee, and we are proud to present this award to such an Outstanding Volunteer.

2007

DianeClair Blum

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
DianeClair Blum
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2007.

Diane is the Co-Banquet Chair with her husband Tim Blum. Diane is also the Chapter Treasurer and is reponsible for ensuring all income and expenses are accounted for in the Spruce Run Banquets.

However, Diane also assists in set-up, registration and cash-out for many other local chapter events and can be found setting up at nearly every event that Tim attends.

Diane's behind-the-scene activities earned her the recognition she deserves, and the State Board proudly suppors her nomination for the New Jersey Volunteer of the Year - 2007

2006

Jerry McCusker

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
Jerry McCusker
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2006.

Under Jerry's leadership, the Spruce Run Chapter has become one of the most successful chapters in New Jersey. Jerry's tireless efforts in fundraising and banquet support in addition to work at the State and Local Levels has earned him the recognition he deserves.

In addition to the Jakes Field Days, and the Superfund Banquets, Jerry has started to be pro-active with the Wheelin' Sportsmen Outreach program and is working diligently to give handicapped hunters access to hunting The State Board is proud to recognize Jerry McCusker for his outstanding voluteerism, and our appoval for the William E Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award.

2005

Thomas Plante

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
Thomas Plante
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2005.

Tom Plante joined the NWTF in 1995 and the State Board a few years later. Tom is the goto person when it comes to computer work, banquet flyers, websites, and other services. He is the President of the Highlands Chapter, the Secretary and Treasurer for the State Chapter, the webmaster for all chapters in New Jersey.

Tom participates in the annual Thunder Mountain Project, and can be counted on to show up at our Board Meetings with donuts and bagles - a welcome feast for all. Tom Plante and Chris Karinja developed a standardized Superfund Banquet Flyer format and has customized it for many chapters in New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Several chapters have hunts donated to them, and Tom custom builds Hunt Certificates for several chapters, including The Highlands Chapter, Spruce Run, and Kittatinny Gobblers. In addition to working his own banquet, Tom makes the effort to assist in the setup and activities at many of the local chapter's events. Tom is our Secretary/Treasurer and is responsible for the State Awards Banquet Registration and Ticket Sales.

The State Board is proud to recognize Tom Plante for his outstanding voluteerism, and received our unanimous approval for the William E Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award.

2004

Tim Blum

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
Tim Blum
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2004.

State Chapter Director, State Jakes Coordinator, Local Chapter Banquet Chair,
Volunteer Wildlife Field Work, Thunder Mountain Committee and much much more!

Tim Blum is the Volunteer of the Year for 2004 due to his outstanding work on behalf of the wild turkey here in New Jersey. He can be found at virtually every local chapter event helping out, setting up, selling tickets, raffles and more.

As the State Jakes Coordinator, Tim works with local chapters to hold Jakes Events and encourages chapter participation in these events. The Spruce Run Jakes Days are very successful and host more than 100 children every year.

The State Board is proud to recognize Tim for his outstanding voluteerism, and received our unanimous approval for the William E Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award.

2003

Scott E. Hill

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
Scott E. Hill
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2003.

Scott has served on the New Jersey State Board of Directors for a number of years as the Treasurer was just named the NJ State Chapter Board of Directors President. Scott is also the Treasurer for the Highlands Chapter.

Scott has distinguished him self as a member at both the local and state levels within the NWTF. As a founding member of the Highlands Chapter, he has been involved with the NWTF for almost ten years now and has been serving on the State Board for more than Five Years. As the New Jersey NWTF District Director, Scott works closely with the Regional Director and the local chapters to ensure the success of their events. He not only attends and helps to set up their events, he participates in raffles and the auctions helping to ensure the financial success of each local chapter's event.

For the year 2003, the New Jersey State Board of Directors is proud to recognize his outstanding contributions to wild turkey conservation and award Scott E. Hill, the William E. Smith Conservation Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.

2002

Julio Santiago

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
Julio Santiago
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2002.

Julio has been active at the local and state level for more than Five Years. He is the founding president of the Central Jersey Limbhangers and is on the State Board of Directors. He has worked tirelessly to make his and many other chapters' banquets a success.

In addition to supporting banquet activites, Julio worked for the success of the NWTF in New Jersey by setting up and participating in tree planting at Assunpink WMA, organizing and running multiple Jakes Events, and promoting the NWTF wherever he goes.

For the year 2002, the New Jersey State Board of Directors was proud to recognize his outstanding contributions to wild turkey conservation and award Julio Santiago, the William E. Smith Conservation Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.

2001

Christian Karinja

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
Christian N. Karinja
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2001.

Chris is an oustanding volunteer for both the NWTF and the New Jersey State Board of Directors. He was a co-founder of the Highlands Chapter in 1996 and became Banquet Chairman in 1997. Iniitally a regular member, he quickly chose to become a sponsor and is now a Diamond Life Member of the NWTF. He has been a State Board Member since 1997 and for the last few years he has served as the President of the State Board of Directors.

In his role as Banquet Chairman, he has helped to build the Highlands Chapter into a huge success and has helped them achieve 'Golden Gobbler' Status for the past five years. As President of the State Board of Directors, he established the Awards Banquet in order to promote the local chapters and to recognize their achievements in the NWTF. Chris has also worked tirelessly to help all the New Jersey Chapters by participating in and helping out at their banquets.

For the year 2001, the New Jersey State Board of Directors was proud to recognize his outstanding contributions to wild turkey conservation and award Chris Karinja, the William E. Smith Conservation Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.

2000

Lee Widjeskog

The New Jersey State Chapter has awarded
Lee Widjeskog
The William E. Smith, Volunteer of the Year Award
For 2000.

Lee Widjeskog was the initial winner of this special award. As a volunteer and professional conserationist, Lee has done extensive work with the South Jersey Chapter to promote the restoration and conservation of the wild turkey in New Jersey.

The New Jersey State Board of Directors was proud to recognize his outstanding contributions to wild turkey conservation and award Lee, the William E. Smith Conservation Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.


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