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Four named to Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame

December 22, 2009 at 01:26 PM

SPRINGFIELD – Four individuals with decades of dedicated commitment to promoting outdoor recreation and stewardship have been selected for induction into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame, a program of the Illinois Conservation Foundation.

Alfred Hayden, John “Jack” Jadel, Denny Sands, and Mary Jo Trimble have been selected from among dozens of nominees for the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame submitted by citizens from throughout Illinois.  They will be inducted during ceremonies at the annual Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet, to be held on Saturday, March 13, 2010 at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois.

“Mary Jo, Denny, Jack, and Al each have a passion for the promotion of natural resources protection and the enjoyment of the outdoors, and we are proud to salute them,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller, who serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF).  “They exemplify what the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame is all about – a dedication to preserving, promoting, and enhancing our state’s natural resources.”

Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Alfred Hayden, Dahinda

Al Hayden is one of west-central Illinois’ leading advocates for youth participation in the outdoors and a tireless promoter of hunting, fishing, and other natural resources-based outdoor recreation.  The owner of Al’s Sporting Goods in Galesburg, Al Hayden is the longtime outdoors columnist for the Galesburg Register-Mail newspaper and has hosted an outdoors radio program.  Hayden has been an organizer and sponsor of the annual Kids Fishing Derby at the Lincoln Park lagoons adjacent to Galeburg’s Lake Storey for more than 20 years.  The event each May attracts an estimated 1,400 children who enjoy a day of fishing and prizes.  Hayden also participates in the annual Knox County Outdoor Education Days program where he hosts fishing clinics – and in youth and adult hunting and conservation programs sponsored by sporting organizations throughout the region.  Hayden also promotes conservation stewardship by landowners, participating in the Acres for Wildlife habitat management program.

John “Jack” Jadel, Wilmette

Jack Jadel is a longtime supporter of conservation education in Illinois, donating funds used by the Illinois Conservation Foundation to support the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Education’s Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program.  The schoolyard habitat grants to local schools throughout Illinois allow teachers and students to construct wildlife habitat areas on school grounds to enhance natural resources education.  The grant funds are used to construct prairie plots, butterfly gardens, wetlands, and woodlands that benefit wildlife and serve as hands-on extensions of classroom studies.  Jack Jadel, a former member of the board of directors of the ICF, has been providing financial support for the conservation education initiative since the mid 1990s through the Jadel Family Foundation.  Thanks to Jadel’s support, there is at least one schoolyard habitat site in each of 71 counties in Illinois. 

Denny Sands, Shabbona

Denny Sands’ love of fishing has helped tens of thousands of other anglers enjoy enhanced fishing opportunities in Illinois for three decades.  Denny Sands was the founding president of the Shabbona Lake Sportsman Club, which has conducted projects and provided support to enhance the fishery and recreation opportunities at Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area in DeKalb Co. since 1982.  Sands has conducted fishing seminars, raised funds for fish stocking efforts, and promoted Shabbona Lake as the “Muskie Capitol of Illinois.”  Sands developed a detailed map of the lake to promote Shabbona as a fishing destination, and he and his daughter host a web site promoting fishing and recreation opportunities.  Since his retirement from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, Sands has operated the lakeside concession and bait shop at Shabbona Lake. 

Mary Jo Trimble, Carterville

Mary Jo Trimble is one of Illinois’ best-known and most forceful advocates for the preservation, protection, and enhancement of public lands for multiple recreational uses, devoting much of her effort at encouraging more recreational access for sporting dog field activities.  Trimble has been active at the local, state, and national level in promoting horseback field trial programs through her association with the Field Trial Clubs of Illinois since the late 1970s.  She was recognized as the 2009 American Kennel Club Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for Performance Dogs – and is a Life Member and member of the Hall of Fame of the American Brittany Club.  Trimble has been an active participant and promoter of outdoor recreation as a delegate to five sessions of the Illinois Conservation Congress and represents field trial interests as a director for the Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources. 

Hall of Fame Banquet Information

Proceeds from the annual Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet assist in funding the ICF Youth Achievement Scholarship program.  Proceeds from the banquet also support other ICF initiatives benefitting outdoor recreation and natural resources protection.

For more information on the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217/785-2003, or check the ICF web site at

The ICF is an IRS 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit corporation established in 1995 to support the programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.


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