A longtime member of the Mountaineer Chapter of Izaak Walton League of America, Beverly, recently received one of the organization's top appreciation awards.
Established in 1976 by the past Izaak Walton League of America President Judge John W. Tobin and in cooperation with the Izaak Walton League of America Endowment, an award was created for every chapter of the organization to honor their most outstanding member. The Judge John W. Tobin Chapter Volunteer Appreciation Award is a way to say thank you to the members who show up for special events, meetings, serve on committees, make the organization run more smoothly and work hard for their chapter's conservation projects or outdoor activities.
This year, the Mountaineer Chapter of Izaak Walton League of America, Beverly, presented this award to its outstanding member, retired conservation officer Ray Mearns. During the year, Mearns spent many hours and hard work organizing the chapter's raffles to raise funds for its Youth Air Rifle Shooting Event and Youth Conservation Day. He also serves as a member of the board of directors, chairman of Gun Raffle Committee and member of Rifle Range Committee. It's not uncommon to find Mearns selling tickets or helping out during the Randolph County Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs Expo, and he also travels with the Expo's Fishing Simulator to the Romney School for the Deaf and Blind to help out during its Jakes Day.
Mountaineer Chapter’s President and National Director of Izaak Walton League of America Bruce Evans presents the 2011 Judge John W. Tobin Award to outstanding member Ray Mearns.
During youth events, he also teaches range and gun safety, along with teaching a skeet shooting station. He sometimes spends his weekends at the Elkins Flea Market, once again selling tickets to raise funds for youth events.