Rob Potter | Democrat
SULLIVAN COUNTY FEDERATION of Sportsmen’s Clubs President Jack Danchak, far left, joins, from left to right, 2007 Sportsman of the Year Bill Gaudette and President’s Award recipients Ray Muthig, Richie Post, Sue Post and Chris Cunningham for a picture at Saturday night’s Federation Dinner Banquet at the Rockland House in Roscoe.
Gaudette Named Sportsman of the Year
By Rob Potter
ROSCOE October 5, 2007 The Sullivan County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs held its 34th annual Sportsman of the Year Dinner Banquet on Saturday night at the Rockland House.
The dining room was filled to capacity with 160 guests, including sportsmen, Sullivan County Legislators, other government officials and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) personnel. The event featured the presentation of special awards, raffle and sweepstakes drawings and a full-course prime rib dinner.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Federation’s 2007 Sportsman of the Year. Federation President Jack Danchak presented that prestigious award to Bill Gaudette.
Before calling Gaudette up to the podium to receive his award, Danchak took a couple of moments to speak about Gaudette’s involvement with outdoor and community organizations.
Danchak noted that Gaudette, a Parksville resident, is a member of the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County and its ILA affiliation, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Tri-Valley Lions Club and Neversink Zoning Board of Appeals.
In addition, Gaudette is a member and delegate of the Whortlekill Rod & Gun Club and he has served as a board member of the Sleepy Hollow German Short Hair Pointers Club.
Gaudette is also a member and treasurer of the Fish & Wildlife Coalition for Youth of the Hudson Valley and has helped the Federation tremendously at its annual Youth Expo Day at the Grahamsville Fairgrounds.
Gaudette is also the Federation’s delegate to the New York State DEC Fish and Wildlife Management Board of Region 3 and presently serves as the board’s chairman. He is also the Federation’s delegate to the New York State Conservation Council.
“He has hunted and fished all his life and is a dedicated sportsman,” Danchak said. “Ladies, gentlemen and sportsmen, it is an honor and with great pleasure to present to you our 2007 Sportsman of the Year Bill Gaudette.”
After accepting his plaque from Danchak, Gaudette exchanged congratulatory handshakes with many past Sportsman of the Year honorees who were standing near the podium.
“I am honored and surprised,” Gaudette said. “Thank you all very much.”
Gaudette, who said that he “loves the outdoors,” took a moment to praise the officers of the Sullivan County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.
“Jack [Danchak] and his fellow officers do an outstanding job,” Gaudette said. “They work with the members to get things done. I know of other organizations where the members divide themselves into smaller groups. But this is not a ‘me’ organization, it is a ‘we’ organization.”
In addition to his Sportsman of the Year plaque, Gaudette received certificates from U.S. Congressman for the 22nd District Maurice Hinchey, New York State Senator for the 42nd District John Bonacic, New York State 98th District Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Chris Cunningham.
Danchak also presented three special President’s Awards during the evening.
The first President’s Award recipient was Ray Muthig.
“This man is a dedicated sportsman, he enjoys deer hunting and is one of the first members who helped organize the Aden Hunting Club, of which he is still a member,” Danchak said of Muthig.
Danchak also noted that Muthig helps the Federation with its booth at the Grahamsville Fair and at the Youth Day Expo at the fairgrounds, has been representing the farmers at the New York State Fish and Wildlife Board for the past nine years, is the Federation’s alternate delegate to the New York State Conservation Council and has donated his homemade maple syrup as a sweepstakes prize at the Federation’s dinner banquet for many years.
Richie Post and Sue Post were honored with the second President’s Award. The couple has operated Fur, Fin & Feather Sport Shop in Livingston Manor for 32 years.
Danchak noted that Fur, Fin & Feather serves as a weigh-in station for the Federation’s Coyote Contest. He also explained that Richie Post, an avid hunter and fisherman who has traveled to many other states to enjoy those sports, is a member of the Parkston Hunting Association and is their delegate to the Federation.
“They have always supported the Federation and have donated prizes for our youth functions,” Danchak said of Richie and Sue Post. “We appreciate what they do for this Federation.”
The third President’s Award recipient was Cunningham.
Danchak noted that Cunningham has been a county legislator for the past 12 years and held the position of chairman for the last four years. Danchak stated that regardless of political affiliation, Cunningham “is a genuine man who would lean his ear to anyone’s concerns.”
“Chris grew up on his family’s 80-acre farm in Bethel, where he learned and enjoyed hunting and fishing,” Danchak said. “I understand he has taken some nice-sized bucks through the years, he is truly a sportsman.
“Chris is not going to run for re-election and he will definitely be missed!,” Danchak added. “On behalf of our Federation consisting of 100 clubs and 12,000 sportsmen we represent, we would like to thank Chris for a job well done.”
At the end of the evening, a sweepstakes drawing was held for 18 prizes donated by local businesses. Paul Hartmann won the top prize, a Polaris 450 4X4 ATV worth approximately $6,000.
Senator Bonacic and Assemblywoman Gunther both made a few remarks during the evening. Bonacic and Gunther assured the crowd that they have supported the concerns of sportsmen, such as Second Amendment rights, in the past and would continue to do so in the future.
County and DEC officials who attended the dinner banquet included Sullivan County Legislators Frank Armstrong, Leni Binder, Chris Cunningham, Ron Hiatt, Kathleen LaBuda, Sam Wohl and Elwin Wood, County Manager David Fanslau, Commissioner of Financial Management Josh Potosek, Legislative Aide Alexis Eggleton, County Clerk Neil Gilberg, Sheriff Mike Schiff, Candidate for County Court Judge Cindy Barber, Candidate for District 1 Legislator David Sager, County Court Judge Burton Ledina, Candidate for County Clerk Dan Briggs, DEC Director of Law Enforcement Peter Fanelli, DEC Law Enforcement Region 3 Lt. Deming Lindley, DEC Bear Specialist Carl Lindsley and DEC Big Game Biologist Matt Merchant.
Honored guests in attendance included MaryBeth and Betty TerBush, Paul and Betty Hartmann, Richie and Sue Post, Harold Buley and Sullivan County Hunter Safety Coordinators Elizabeth and Harris Meyers.
Among the Federation officers in attendance were Vice President Tom Yager, Secretary Edna Calkin and Treasurer Ray Herbert.