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OFAH Announces Multiple Conservation Awards At AGM

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 03/17/14 -- Some of Ontario's most deserving conservation volunteers were recognized recently at the 86th OFAH Annual General Meeting and Fish & Wildlife Conference. More than 30 worthy recipients, including clubs, individuals and youth, accepted awards in front of hundreds of outdoors enthusiasts attending the conference held from March 13 to 15, 2014 in Mississauga.

The Mary Pickford Trophy is presented to the OFAH member club considered to have done the most conservation work over the past year. Named after the late actress and avid angler, this award recognizes the spirit and determination of OFAH conservationists. Although several deserving clubs were nominated, multiple-time winner, Sydenham Sportsmen's Association (SSA), walked away with the award again. As the judges noted, the SSA, "continues to dedicate enormous amounts of time and energy to the conservation of our resources. Their contributions and the number of volunteer hours they contribute are truly remarkable, as are their efforts to involve young people in so many of their projects."

Some of the SSA's featured projects included stream improvement, spawning rehabilitation work, the Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular, annual conservation dinner, hatchery work, firearms safety training, community outreach and pollution abatement.

The Gord Blake Memorial Award is given annually to the individual considered to have done the most for conservation on a volunteer basis. The award is named after the former OFAH president and long-time member of the Oakville and District Rod & Gun Club. The judges unanimously picked Scott McQuire, of the Port Colborne and District Conservation Club, to be this year's recipient from a stellar list of deserving candidates. For more than 30 years, Scott has helped organize and run the club's annual children's fishing derby and Pitch-In campaign. He has devoted time and energy to the club's pickerel restocking program and was actively involved in the successful campaign that garnered Port Colborne the title of the Ultimate Fishing Town in Canada.

The OFAH Heritage Junior Award honours a young person who has made the most outstanding contribution to conservation over the previous year. First presented in 1987, this award acknowledges the great work done by many young people and their role as future stewards of Ontario's natural resources. Judges remarked that this year's winner, Quinn Bartlett, "does it all, and is an inspiration to all conservationists, young and old." The Georgian Bay Get Outdoors Club member has helped with multiple tree planting projects, Pitch-In campaigns, wild game calling, archery instruction, wood duck box building, fishing derbies and coordinating youth volunteers for local retriever trials.

For a complete list of conservation award winners, visit www.ofah.org/conference/awards.

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 720 member clubs, the OFAH is the province's largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.

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