Holiday 2023 Newsletter

Best Wishes this Holiday Season

With the Holiday Season upon us and the year coming to a close, the Officers and Directors of the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

New Officers and Board of Directors for 2024

At the annual membership meeting on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, members voted to elect 2024 Officers and Board of the NYSOHOF. 

The 2024 Officers and Directors are:

Stephen Wowelko – President

Mark Hettler – 1st Vice President

Zen Olow –2nd Vice president

Judy Aldrich – Secretary

Scott Faulkner – Treasurer/Web Site Manager

Joe Fischer – Director

Chuck Godfrey – Director

Debbie Brosen – Director

Mike Elam – Director

“It is an honor to return as President of the NYS Outdoorsman Hall of Fame, an organization that recognizes sportsmen and conservationists – not for what they take, but for what they have given.” said Wowelko

Outgoing President Bill Lansley thanked the board for their hard work in raising the bar for the association.  Lansley did not run for reelection due to his relocating out of New York State.  “I feel great leaving the association in good hands and with a great financial status as a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization.”  Lansley will continue to contribute as Past President and Advisor to the Board.

Nominations deadline January 31, 2024

We are currently in the process of receiving nominations for the new class of inductees for 2024 and for our Special Awards.  The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2024.  Nomination instructions can be found on our website http://nysohof.org   . 

Before you submit a nomination, you need to contact the Hall of Fame first to obtain the revised nomination cover form along with instructions on what is to be included with the nomination. 

Please email sfcf@tds.net or nysohof@gmail.com to request the nomination form.

Please be sure to include mandatory supporting documentation and letters of support with your nomination.  Incomplete nominations may not be considered.

Here are the categories of nominations for active outdoorsmen:

1. Outdoor Volunteer – Men and women who have given many years of volunteer service and accomplished significant things to help others, especially future generations, enjoy the outdoors.  These volunteers have truly given back more than they have taken.

2. Outdoor Professional/Volunteer is reserved for those who use their professional talents to support the causes of conservation and outdoor sports.  These individuals go above and beyond their regular paid job duties to “give back”, so that others can benefit.  Many also volunteer in addition to giving back through their professional careers.  This category also includes outdoor writers and authors.

In addition we have established the Pioneer Category

Since its creation, the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame has been inducting individuals who worked tirelessly to preserve our outdoor heritage.  The Pioneer category was established to honor these earlier sportsmen and women who did so much for sportsmen’s issues all across New York State. Many of these sportsmen and women are now deceased.

Special Awards

The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame has also established the following Special Awards:

Educational Program Award:

Designed for youth or youth programs, related to conservation programs.

Media Award:

The Media Award is used as recognition in special cases where a writer/author did something really special, beyond their regular duties.

Outdoors-person of the Year:

This award is presented to an individual or organization that has made a significant impact on conservation or outdoor sports. This may have been a specific project or several actions that have enhanced hunting or fishing or helped preserve our natural environment for future generations. These actions have typically been performed over a shorter period of time than the efforts of an inductee to the Hall of Fame.

Dave Pierce Memorial Award:

The Dave Pierce Memorial Award is given to someone who has done outstanding work with youth.

Extra Mile Award:

Conservation and Law Enforcement Professionals do an important job in protecting the state’s resources ranging from fish and wildlife to the health of the environment.  They regularly enforce the laws protecting fish and wildlife, monitor pollution, and much more. At times they even put their lives on the line.  The Law Enforcement Professionals serve as symbols of our natural resources and help educate the public on proper behavior.

Yet even with all of these responsibilities many of them go beyond the call of duty to help educate the public or create a new generation of ethical sportsmen and stewards of our natural resources.  This “extra mile” that they often go can take many forms.  They regularly make appearances at youth groups, speak at various meetings, act as mentors to youth hunts, fund many events, and help organize events to introduce people to outdoor sports.

2024 Annual Induction Banquet Date

The date for the 2024 Annual Induction Banquet has been set. 

Next year our Banquet will be held on Sunday, April 28, 2024. Doors will open at 3pm and dinner served at 4pm.

Make sure to mark your calendars for this extraordinary event!

NYSOHOF is Granted Not-For-Profit Status by IRS

For several decades, the NYSOHOF has tried to acquire a nonprofit status.  This year with the help of Mark Hettler, our Association Vice-President, we were recognized as a charitable nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

What most clearly distinguishes 501(c)(3) charities from other nonprofits is that 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with IRS Code section 170 and these are tax-deductible to their donors.

Annual Raffle 2023

The NYSOHOF is looking for donations and prizes to help us raise money to keep the association financially sound.  We are looking for anything we can use as a prize for our 2024 Annual Drawing.  Donations can include gift certificates, fishing charters, hunting outings, prints, paintings, outdoor equipment or fishing tackle.  Any donations we receive will be recognized at our annual induction banquet.  In the past few years we have had some very generous members offer great prizes. We can’t keep the association going without help from our members.  Please let us know as soon as possible if you are able to make a donation so that we can organize our only fundraising raffle and print the tickets by the end of the year.  All donation are tax-deductible to their donors.

2024 Membership Dues

Just a friendly reminder, a membership notice for 2024 dues will be sent out early next year.  Membership dues are essential to continuation of the Hall of Fame.  Membership dues are only $20 annually. Please look for the notice in your mail.

New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Website

For more information about our association, please visit our website:   http://nysohof.org   

Note from the President

Happy Holidays, everyone!

‘Tis the season for giving and receiving, and one of the best things to give this time of year is a nomination recognizing one of those amazing, hardworking individuals or programs for the 2024 Class of the Hall of Fame! Receiving a nomination is a tremendous gift and induction is truly the gift of a lifetime.

Please think about submitting a deserving nominee for consideration over the holidays and hopefully we’ll see everyone in Canastota for another wonderful Induction Banquet in the spring.

Thank you to everyone who helped me through my presidency over the last few years.

As I hand the reigns back over to President Wowelko, I shall remain close to the board in an advisory capacity, and assist where and when I can, long into the future.

To you and yours, have an amazing holiday season!

– Bill

Leave a Comment