Nov. 5, 2018
Eilliott Wins 2018 Keesler Award as NY’s Top Outdoor Citizen
The late Will Elliott of Pavilion, NY was named the recipient of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association’s M. Paul Keesler New York Outdoor Citizen Award at its annual awards banquet Oct. 6, this year held at the Peconic River Sportsman’s Club on Long Island. The award is presented to an individual or organization that effectively has raised the public’s awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities and conservation issues in New York State.
The award was named after the late M. Paul Keesler, a revered NYSOWA member, who spent nearly five decades promoting and conserving the outdoor wonders and recreational opportunities within New York State. Beginning with outdoor columns for the Utica Observer Dispatch and progressing to the New York Sportsman, Keesler enlightened and educated readers statewide and beyond to the wild treasures of the Empire State. Keesler also wrote books on canoe fishing New York waterways and on his beloved West Canada Creek and Mohawk Valley.
The late Will Elliott of Pavilion came from the same mold as Keesler. He was the outdoor writer for the Buffalo News for 30-plus years, and was a teacher and educator all of his life. He was an English teacher for over 33 years, passing along his conservation values along the way. He was a consummate fisherman and hunter, running a fishing class for many years to pass along his intimate knowledge to others. He wasn’t afraid to take on the tough issues. Whether it was with his weekly column in the Buffalo News or his regular column in NY Outdoor News, he was constantly taking people to task if they weren’t conservation-minded or they weren’t thinking about the average person.
Elliott was recognized nationally for his work by the American Crossbow Federation. He truly made a difference. He was recently recognized by the NY Conservation Officers Association with its “Press Award” for his dedication to outdoor ethics and for his support of the mission of the Conservation Officers in NY. He was inducted into the New York Outdoorsman Hall of Fame in 2011 and was named Conservationist of the Year by the Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY in 2016. He also received many press awards by the group through the years. He didn’t do anything for accolades; he did things because he wanted to help out. He preferred to be behind the scenes, always working for the greater good. He would have been proud to receive the M. Paul Keesler Outdoor Citizen Award.
“Thank you for nominating and selecting Will for the Paul Keesler Award at the fall NYSOWA conference,” wrote his wife, Jean after she learned of the award. “Will wrote and promoted the outdoors for about 30 years, but another 40-plus years were spent encouraging others to enjoy the outdoors. His constant ambition was to promote and show people of all ages the different activities and gifts that nature offered. He taught fishing rod building and jig-tying classes, he joined countless outdoor sporting clubs and organizations and quietly volunteered with a number of these organizations, all with the intent of getting people involved and finding enjoyment in the outdoors.”
For more information, contact:Glenn Sapir, ph: 845-519-9027, email: firstname.lastname@example.org