CHARLOTTE, NC -- Ward Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Racing Pontiac, has been named to serve as the Honorary Chairman of the National Hunting & Fishing Day on September 23, 2000. This year marks the 29th annual observance of the day...
CHARLOTTE, NC -- Ward Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Racing Pontiac, has been named to serve as the Honorary Chairman of the National Hunting & Fishing Day on September 23, 2000. This year marks the 29th annual observance of the day intended to encourage men and women nationwide to step outside, enjoy nature and also recognize sportsmen's contributions to conservation. In 1972, Congress and President Nixon passed two bills and signed a proclamation that began the first NHF Day. Nixon urged all citizens to use natural resources wisely and manage the land for future generations. Hunters and conservationists alike were enthused and immediately began organizing events across America. Through widespread promotions, all 50 governors and over 600 mayors had declared a state and town Hunting & Fishing Day as a result. Congress and President Nixon felt that proclaiming a NHF Day would allow individuals to recognize sportsmen for their efforts in raising money - over $23 billion to date. In recognizing their efforts, thousands of special events are organized across the country by conservation groups and sate wildlife agencies. "Each year, NHF Day seeks out an individual who fits well within our organization," said Chris Chaffin, NHF Day National Director. "Ward fit in our organization extremely well. He is an avid outdoorsmen and uses his enthusiasm for the outdoors to raise awareness, protect and conserve the land." Burton has joined a long list of prominent individuals that have also served as Honorary Chairman for NHF Day. He joins the likes of Terry Bradshaw, Arnold Palmer, Hank Williams, Jr., Robert Urich, Tom Lehman, Louis Mandrell and President George Bush. "It is a real great honor to be involved with the NHF Day," said Burton. "To be nominated and join people like George Bush and Arnold Palmer is truly an honor. I am excited about the opportunities that lay ahead for the awareness and exposure the NHF Day deserves." This year's theme is "A Natural Invitation To Step Outside." HFD National Headquarters is asking that this year everyone invite a friend, family member, or neighbor to step outside and participate in an outdoor activity. Hiking, camping, fishing, hunting or participating in activities planned by your local NHF Day event all some of the suggestions being made to the public. "The natural resources of our country are simply incredible, there's something meaningful, exciting and yes, personal, for everyone," said Chaffin. "Sharing these resources and opportunities with others can be a truly rewarding experience for both parties." The natural resources are what Burton works countless hours trying to protect and conserve. To make his dream a reality, Burton formed his own conservation effort in 1996 - the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation (WBWF). Today, the WBWF owns and co-owns over 2,000 acres of land. In addition to managing and protecting land, the WBWF has 70 acres of various food plots for different wildlife and 800 acres of 90-130 year old oaks. "Over the last four or five years, with my interests and connections, I have been able to meet and talk with people who share the same feelings that I do," said Burton. "With that, the WBWF has begun working at acquiring additional lands and working on projects for state and private individuals alike." Burton hopes that he can make a difference as the Chairman of NHF Day just as he has in his home state of Virginia. "It is my hope that through my personal and professional connections, that I can gain exposure for the NHF Day and participate and make a difference at meetings and fund raisers throughout the country," said Burton. "I ask that everyone participate in NHF Day on September 23, 2000." If you would like to know more about NHF Day, please visit their web-site at www.nhfday.org. And if you would like to know more about the WBWF, please visit Ward Burton's web-site at www.wardburton.com.
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