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Sue LeBar | Democrat

Eight-year-old Nina Moss holds up her winning fish from the Jerry Sheppard Memorial Children’s Ice Fishing Contest. Pictured with Nina are members of the Forz Or Mor Hunting Club and her father, Jim Moss. From left to right are Carl Lindsey, April Sheppard, Jim Moss, Phil Grisafe and Jim “Chili” Willis.

More than 65 youngsters compete at the 2010 Jerry Sheppard Memorial Kids’ Ice Fishing Contest

By Sue LeBar
COCHECTON — February 16, 2010 — Despite rough weather the week before, Mitchell Pond in the Town of Cochecton was ready to go on Saturday, Feb. 6 for the annual Jerry Sheppard Memorial Children’s Ice Fishing Contest as a couple of special angels were looking down from the heavens to insure everyone had a great day.
More than 65 children and their parents turned out to enjoy a terrific day of ice fishing.
Jerry Sheppard was a hunter and fisherman who loved kids. After Jerry passed away in 2007, his family came up with a way to keep his memory and his love of children alive by starting the Memorial Children’s Ice Fishing Contest. Since that first tournament, the event has grown bigger and bigger each year.
Since Jerry’s passing, volunteers who are members of the club he started, Forz Or Mor Hunting Club, have successfully held a fun-filled event for kids and their parents to come out and enjoy a great day of fishing on the ice. Every child who participated in this year’s contest went home with a prize and a few even went home with some big catches of the day.
April Sheppard, Jerry’s sister-in-law, was one of the adults helping out at the event.
“Jerry loved kids and educating kids in the outdoors was what he liked to do and he enjoyed creating family time and he just loved everyone,” April Sheppard said. “I know he is looking down on us today because the weather is great and it is nice to be out on the ice.
“We recently lost a close friend of Jerry’s, Bobby Kent, and I know he is looking down on us as well and ensuring everyone is having a great time,” April added. “The club misses both guys very much and we know we are making them proud by hosting this event every year. This year’s event started off rough because Jerry’s brother, Randy, who is always at this event got hurt at work yesterday and is now in the hospital, but he will be fine. From his hospital bed, he said ‘make sure the kids’ fishing event goes well’ and I truly believe it is going great.”
All kids and parents who participated in the day’s event were treated to refreshments and a bowl of the famous Forz Or Mor Hunting Club chili to warm up on the cold day.
April Sheppard added that the day would not have been possible without the many sponsors that helped out.
“We would like to take a moment and thank The Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County, the Kent Family, Tom’s Bait and Tackle, Frost Valley YMCA, Peck’s Market in Jeffersonville, the Schiffs, Ken’s Cans, Bernas Family, Sam and Dena Smith, Jeff and Sandi Daub, Alan Coots, Richard O’Brien, Reinhard and Willie Gartner, WSUL, Thunder 102, Charlie Quwans, Edna Calkin, Dick’s Auto, The Sullivan County Democrat, The River Reporter, WJFF and The Catskill Shopper,” she said. “Without all these people, we could have never pulled off such a great event and we thank them all.”
The winners of the event were as follows:
Largest Fish (a 23-inch pickerel): Nina Moss, Largest Bullhead (12 3/8 inches): Kyle Crowe, Largest Perch (11 inches): Devon Muzuruk, Largest Crappie (13 1/4 inches): Abbey Bizjak, Largest Sunfish (7 1/2 inches): Zachary McGee, Most Fish Caught: Zachary McGee, Youngest Girl: Marissa Yanetta and Youngest Boy: Patrick Parlinski.

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