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Halifax volunteers win national award for helping youth

For helping youth understand the importance of learning about the outdoors and living an active lifestyle, volunteers with the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Halifax Area Chapter have received national recognition.

The chapter from South Boston, represented by David and Judy Vaughan, was presented the Best JAKES Cooperator Event Award Feb. 18 during the NWTF’s 35th annual National Convention and Sport Show, which centers around the theme, “Our Youth. Our Legacy.”

The convention, sponsored by MidwayUSA, took place in Nashville through Feb. 20.

“At JAKES events, we create a fun and safe environment to teach young people about hunting, fishing, wildlife and conservation,” said Mandy Harling, JAKES program coordinator.

“The Halifax Area Chapter went the extra mile for the youth in their area. I encourage parents in the area to get their children involved in a JAKES event hosted by the Halifax Area Chapter. It’s a ton of fun for everyone involved.”

The Halifax Area Chapter hosted a JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) event that was one of the best out of more than 1,000 events hosted by NWTF chapters nationwide.

The NWTF’s JAKES program is dedicated to teaching the principles of wildlife management and passing along the traditions of safe, ethical and responsible hunting to youth up to age 12.

The Xtreme JAKES program was developed for teens ages 13 to 17. The program provides advanced outdoor opportunities and challenges more in line with older JAKES abilities and experiences.

Combined, JAKES and Xtreme JAKES events held throughout North America attracted more than 75,000 youth in 2010. The JAKES program is growing steadily, and earning a JAKES award has become increasingly competitive. Any local NWTF chapter that hosts a JAKES event can apply for these awards.

Founded in 1973, the NWTF is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $331 million to conserve 15.9 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.

The NWTF works to increase interest in the outdoors by bringing new hunters and conservationists into the fold through outdoor education events and its outreach programs - Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin’ Sportsmen, JAKES and Xtreme JAKES.