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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: October 16, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Macaulay Porter, Macaulay.Porter@governor.virginia.gov

First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin Announces October 2023 Spirit of Virginia Award Recipient

~ The Governor and First Lady present a Spirit of Virginia Award to the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia in Chesapeake, VA on October 16, 2023 ~

Jenny West delivers remarks
First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin and Governor Glenn Youngkin present the Spirit of Virginia Award to the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia in Chesapeake, VA, October 16, 2023. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

RICHMOND, VA—Today, Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin presented a 2023 Spirit of Virginia Award to the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia. Contributing to the conservation of nearly 14,000 acres of wild lands across the Commonwealth, this nonprofit is dedicated to preserving land, providing public access and outdoor recreation opportunities to Virginians, and ensuring a future for outdoor enthusiasts in the Commonwealth.

“Conserving the Commonwealth’s green spaces must remain a top priority,” said First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin. “The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia is sparking a deeper connection between Virginians and nature’s beauty and bounty and we can’t think of a better way to admire God’s creation.”

“The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia is grateful to the First Lady and Governor of Virginia to be awarded the First Lady’s Spirit of Virginia Award. The Commonwealth’s natural resources are extraordinary and offer her citizens’ abundant opportunities to explore clean water, air, and breathtaking land,” said Jenny West, Executive Director of the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia. “We feel privileged to contribute to conserving, in perpetuity, some of her most important landscapes and we appreciate the Youngkin administration’s recognition of our efforts to make a difference.”

Since its founding in 1997, the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia has been integral to the acquisition of nearly 14,000 acres of land, much of which is now owned by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources to manage for public access and wildlife habitats. With the nearly 4,000 acres that the WFV owns itself, the organization provides hunting, fishing, and shooting sport experiences for youth, veterans, wounded warriors, and others for whom these unique adventures would otherwise be unavailable, as well as the general public. The Governor and First Lady were joined by Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources Travis Voyles and Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel for the presentation of this award.

The Spirit of Virginia Award recognizes unique qualities and standout achievements across the Commonwealth and salutes Virginians for their uncommon contributions in private industries, education, culture, the arts, and philanthropy.

The Governor and Mrs. Youngkin will present the last Spirit of Virginia Award for 2023 in November. Learn more about the . To learn more about the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia, visit the organization’s website. All recipients of the Spirit of Virginia Award are recognized during a holiday reception at the end of the year at The Virginia Executive Mansion.

Follow the First Lady on Facebook and Instagram as she celebrates Virginians all across the Commonwealth.

Jenny West delivers remarks at podium First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin delivers remarks
Jenny West delivers remarks at the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia in Chesapeake, VA, October 16, 2023. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography. First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin delivers remarks at the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia in Chesapeake, VA, October 16, 2023. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.
Samantha McInteer delivers remarks Jim McVey delivers remarks
Samantha McInteer delivers remarks at the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia in Chesapeake, VA, October 16, 2023. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography. Jim McVey delivers remarks at the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia in Chesapeake, VA, October 16, 2023. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

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