The Boilermaker Committee and Tim Reed, Boilermaker President, announced on Wednesday that Bill Keeler, Morning Show Host at WIBX’s First News with Keeler in the Morning has been awarded the Les Diven Award, in recognition of “exceptional coverage” of the Boilermaker and contributions to the community.  The award was given out during the Boilermaker's Volunteer meeting on Wednesday evening at ECR International.

“Bill really works hard to promote the Boilermaker and his dedication started back in the 1990’s when he ran his first race; he carried a bag phone and actually broadcast live over his radio show,” said Reed. “I’ll simply say he’s never going to set any records on the course; but, his commitment to the race’s success couldn’t be stronger.” Over the last few years, Bill has coordinated staging for the awards ceremony and the post race party and was instrumental in organizing this year’s 40th anniversary post-race lineup. He’s also active in organizing the celebration of renaming the first mile of the course to Utica’s “Unity Mile.” “Bill’s biggest contribution really comes during his radio program as he’s always there to help us promote Boilermaker events and milestones during the 51 other weeks of the year leading up to the race,” added Reed. “He’s always there when we need him.”

“Even when I was in Providence, I couldn’t help but talk about the Boilermaker,” said Keeler. “It’s grown into a world class race; but, more so, it’s been an inspiration for this this rebounding community. When I wanted to collect supplies for hurricane victims in New York back in 2012, I teamed up with the Boilermaker and when we decided to collect water for Flint, Michigan, I teamed up with the Boilermaker. Now, there are programs like charity bib, events in the schools and the public market that are changing this area for the better. I couldn’t be any prouder to be a part of this race and to help promote it throughout the year. I’m also tremendously honored to mentioned in the same sentence as a person like Les Diven who was a legend at the Observer Dispatch and the Daily Press and did so much for the Boilermaker,” he added.

Les Diven covered sports for Utica’s newspapers for more than four decades. He and his wife, Patricia, immersed themselves in the Boilermaker, processing every paper application for the road race. Prior to current times where applications are processed electronically, this process used to be painfully time consuming and had to be done one application at a time. “This is something Les and his wife did for us,” said Reed. “It showed his dedication to the race and the community.”

The annual award named in Les Diven’s memory, The Les Diven Award is in recognition of a media person’s “exceptional coverage” of the Boilermaker and that person’s additional contributions to the community. “The Boilermaker is proud to add Bill to this list of great media names who have lived up to the example set by Les Diven years before,” added Reed.