Bill Bowen of Rockwood, Tenn., is a natural at giving. For years, he worked at a tree service company, providing for his growing family … until a tree fell on him, leaving him with a severe spinal cord injury. Even though the accident paralyzed his body, it didn’t affect his giving spirit. He quickly took on the role of Mr. Mom to his young children, while his wife, Kristi, worked at a local hospital.
Despite setbacks in life, Bowen still gives his all to his family and to perfect strangers—fellow outdoorsmen with disabilities.
For the past three years, Bowen has volunteered with Wheelin’ Sportsmen NWTF to help host fishing and hunting events for people with disabilities who want to experience, or re-experience, the great outdoors.
To honor his efforts, Bowen was named the 2006 Wheelin’ Sportsmen NWTF Member of the Year at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s 31st annual Convention and Sport Show held Feb. 23 to Feb. 25 in Nashville, Tenn.
Although he’s been a member of the Cumberland Chapter of the NWTF and Wheelin’ Sportsmen for only three years, Bowen has attended nearly a dozen Wheelin’ events and helped local volunteers organize nine. He serves as a Wheelin’ team leader, whose goal is to help the program reach more individuals with disabilities, providing them with accessible outdoor opportunities.
“If I had to describe Bill [Bowen] in one word it would be unselfish,” said Dee Dee Garvin, a Wheelin’ Sportsmen NWTF regional coordinator for several Southern states, including Tennessee. “His dedication to the program and willingness to give of himself makes him worthy of the title.”
Wheelin’ Sportsmen NWTF offers all outdoorsmen and women with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors through events held in communities across the nation featuring hunting, fishing and shooting activities. The program also provides a full-color, quarterly magazine for its members. Wheelin’ Sportsmen magazine is dedicated to the education and entertainment of disabled outdoors enthusiasts.
For more information about Wheelin’ Sportsmen NWTF, call (800) THE-NWTF or visit our Web site at www.wheelinsportsmen.org.