By Rob Potter
TURNWOOD A total of 108 youngsters attended the third annual Sullivan County Long Beards (SCLB) Jake Fishing Day on Saturday at the Beaverkill Trout Hatchery in Turnwood.
The event, which was for boys and girls ages 1 to 17, was held in conjunction with the Fred and Edwin Shaver Memorial Fishing Derby.
In addition to catching fish including brook trout and rainbow trout, the participating youngsters had the opportunity to shoot an air gun and compete in an archery target shoot.
SCLB Event Chairman Hank D’Auria and SCLB Secretary Fran D’Auria noted that about 90 of the kids were Jakes the youth members of the SCLB.
“This an outstanding turnout today,” Hank D’Auria said. “We’re drawing kids from Orange and Ulster counties in addition to Sullivan County.”
All of the youngsters were treated to a free lunch of hot dogs, potato chips and soda. They also received a SCLB frisbee and other gifts. Many of the kids also won prizes such as a tackle box in a special raffle.
Among those enjoying the day were Dominic Fontana of Liberty, who is a SCLB member, his wife, Ellaine, and their five children: 10-year-old Rose, 8-year-old Gaetano, 7-year-old Angelina, 6-year-old Gabriella and 3-year-old Dominic.
While taking turns casting a line into the pond, the Fontana siblings reeled in four fish.
“This is a great event for the kids,” Dominic Fontana said. “We moved up here from Long Island 10 years ago and they don’t have anything like this for the kids down there.”
The special raffle winners were Katie Loucks, who won a National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Browning 12-gauge shotgun, and Travis Doughty, who won the SCLB No. 1 Chapter in New York State knife with an etched logo on the box.
Kaitlyn Beck won the prize for the biggest fish caught by a girl.
Brandon Williams won the prize for the biggest fish caught by a boy.
In addition, the youngest girl and boy at the event each received a complete Shrek fishing set. The youngest girl was 1-year-old Ruby Shamsone and the youngest boy was 2-year-old Weston Shaver.
Trophies were awarded for the archery contest in the Junior Division (ages 10 and under) and Senior Division (ages 11 and up).
The winners in the Senior Division were: First Place Ethan Morgan, who won an air rifle with scope; Second Place Travis Doughty, who won a SCLB numbered knife; Third Place Austin Decker, who won a NWTF skinning knife with a sheath
The winners in the Junior Division were: First Place Dylan D’Auria, who won a Red Ryder® BB gun; Second Place Cody DeMarmels, who won a SCLB box call and a NWTF hat; Third Place Travis Davis, who won a SCLB box call and a NWTF hat
“This was a beautiful day,” Hank D’Auria said after he and his fellow SCLB members handed out all the raffle prizes and trophies to the boys and girls. “I can’t wait for our next event in September.”
D’Auria was referring to the SCLB’s Jake event scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and feature a host of activities for kids, including fly tying, fly casting, archery and bird house building.