The New York State Outdoor Writers Association has presented Buffalo News Outdoors writer Bill Hilts Jr. with the Hans Paller Award, an honor so rare it has been bestowed only five times in the association's 50-year history.
For 36 years Hilts has served the NYSOWA in various capacities, holding the positions of director, president, vice president and conference chair over that time. He's a former editor of the association newsletter and continues to provide editorial support on that front.
"Whenever there was a need for a conference, a committee, or just some task, he would step forward, " states a news release announcing the award. "In all his years that he has been involved he would quietly offer his support and advice to the organization without fanfare or concern for credit. In most cases he would serve as the mainstay to see that the problem was solved and the job was done right.
"The average span of active volunteerism in most organization is about five years, or less. By contrast Bill Hilts has been very active as a hard-working and successful volunteer for 36 years. He has also been a great role model, a 'people-person' who got other to work as well, achieved many significant improvements, and has played a major role in making NYSOWA the great organization that it is today."