Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bill Wills Wins TU Distinguished Service Award

With the financial assistance of the VA Council and many members, Bill Wills and I recently travelled to Wisconsin so that he could accept the national TU Distinguished Service Award.

Friday, we had to catch a flight at 6:30 am so I picked up Bill at 4:30 am to catch the early flight to Chicago.

After getting to Chicago, we rented a car and drove approximately 3 hours to Middleton Wisconsin.  Thanks to a generous donation from Bill Campbell, we checked into the Middleton Marriott.  Also we had arranged with Bill's nephew Jimmy (from Cortlandt NY) to meet us at the hotel as a surprise!  Boy, was he ever!

We were a little surprised that there were not any booths or vendors at the national meeting, but there was this one raffle for a James Prosek print if you could guess how many Swedish Fish were in the picture frame.  

After catching up with nephew Jimmy, we cleaned up, dressed up, and headed to the award banquet at the Death's Door distillery in Middleton.

The fish fry dinner was very nice and it was great to hear about all the awards for the great work TU volunteers are doing all across the country.  In addition to Bill's award for Distinguished Service, best newsletter was won by a TU Chapter in Winchester VA!  I have some copies of the newsletter I will email out to local TU members...

Here's Bill and Jimmy at Death's Door...

Bill gave a great speech followed by rousing applause.  Of course he said he didn't know why he would be singled out for any award - such is Bill's humble way.

Bill and his award...

At the after-hours mixer hosted by the local WI TU chapters, Bill was quite the celebrity and everyone was congratulating him and telling him how inspirational he was.

For some reason, Bill was especially popular with the ladies.... 

We had a nice breakfast listening to a panel discussion by the national council about branding issues, membership, projects, and fundraising.  I can tell you, even attending the annual meeting for 1 of the 3 days made me psyched to be a member of TU and made me committed to doing more.

If you're not already a member of TU, please join.  If you are a member, please renew.  TU is a great organization full of dedicated and passionate volunteers that make our environment and our fishing experiences better.


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