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Shane Jackson, foreground, was among the 46 teens and young adults who enjoyed the fishing trip on the Atlantic Ocean.

Teens, young adults enjoy DREAM Tank fishing trip

By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY — September 3, 2010 — As part of its continuing mission to provide positive adventures and experiences for teenagers and young adults, the Creative Think Tank’s DREAM Tank recently held its third fishing trip on the Atlantic Ocean.
On the rainy Sunday morning of Aug. 22, a group of 46 teens and young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 along with 10 adult chaperones got on a charter bus from Rolling V Bus Corp. at 4 a.m. at the Ted Stroebele Center in Monticello. They then travelled to Freeport, Long Island for their angling adventure.
Once in Freeport, the group went aboard the Captain Jim III fishing boat guided by Captain Jim Paladino for a day of fishing. Despite the rainy weather, the trip was a success.
One of the trip’s chaperones was Eric Young, who is the Community Liaison for the DREAM Tank, which is one component of the Creative Think Tank, Inc.
“It was a pleasure to see all of these boys and girls enjoy a day of fishing,” Young said. “Some of the kids had been on our fishing trip last year, but most of them were on their first fishing trip. Those kids had never been on a row boat before, let alone a large fishing boat for 110 people.”
Young noted that the DREAM Tank purchased extra ponchos for the kids who did not have rain gear.
The teens and young adults tried to catch blue fish, which can be up to 3 feet long and are not easy to reel in.
“They are strong fish and can pull the pole right out of your hand,” Young said.
While not all of the teens and young adults caught fish, among those who did were Lajuan Drayton and Shane Jackson. Drayton caught three blue fish.
“He had to fight with them to bring them in,” Young said of Drayton. “But he did it and that’s something he will remember for the rest of his life.”
Young noted that Jackson is the quarterback of the first varsity football team at Monticello High School in 75 years. Jackson also won gold in the 12-13 age group of the boys’ track & field event at the national finals of the 2008 United States Olympic Committee’s Junior Olympic Skills competition in Chicago.
“Watching him catch blue fish was great,” Young said of Jackson. “He’s a fisherman and a sportsman now.
“Seeing the pride on the kids’ faces was nice,” Young added. “Going on this fishing trip is something they will remember for a lifetime.”
The group caught a total of 53 blue fish and one sea bass.
“A trip like this is part of our goal to get the kids away from the television and the videogames,” Young said. “We want to give them positive experiences. Besides the fishing trips, we go on college trips and camping trips.”
But the DREAM Tank offers more than those trips.
Thanks to Sullivan First, the DREAM Tank received video equipment and a computer so it can offer classes with a professional videographer. Eli Tubo, a four-time gold record producer, is in charge of the DREAM Tank’s music program, Ludeline Kuganelis is the director of the art program and Delfelia Padu teaches etiquette classes.
The DREAM Tank also offers karate and other programs, including dance, are in the works.
Also in the works is the opening of the DREAM Tank’s temporary gallery, which will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 444 Broadway in Monticello. Among those expected to attend are Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini, Alan and Sandra Gerry and politicians from around Sullivan County. Young and other DREAM Tank officials are hopeful that State Senator John Bonacic, State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer will be able to attend as well.
The gallery will feature artwork and newspaper clippings of the DREAM Tank’s projects and trips.
The cost of the Aug. 22 fishing trip was about $3,500. But local businesses and residents helped the DREAM Tank pay for the trip.
Young noted that “Shop Rite of Monticello donated 100 pieces of fried chicken and Phil Vallone of Rolling V gave us a great price on the charter bus.”
In addition, Geraldine Smith, who was in charge of the girls on the fishing trip, coordinated the distribution of food. Chaperones and parents provided bread and cold cuts for sandwiches, soda and water.
Young also thanked Creative Think Tank, Inc. CEO Josephine Finn for her continuing support for the DREAM Tank.
Currently, Young works as a painting contractor and drives a school bus for the Monticello Central School District. But he believes so much in the DREAM Tank and its objectives that he serves as the director of both the DREAM Tank’s Natures Factory Workshop and Tubb Band.
Young said he would like to retire from his regular jobs in a few years and work full-time with the DREAM Tank.
“This is about getting these kids away from the negative things happening on the streets,” he said. “Our goal is to reach out to them and show them life skills. We want them to see another side of life.”

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