By Rob Potter
ROSCOE The Sullivan County Long Beards (SCLB) chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation held its annual awards banquet on Sunday afternoon at the Rockland House.
A total of 191 people attended the event, which featured several award presentations, raffles, a silent auction and a live auction.
SCLB President Earl “Butch” Kortright presented a surprise award to Long Beards Treasurer Hank D’Auria.
On behalf of the other officers, Vice President Pat Gorman and Secretary Fran D’Auria, and all of the club members, Hank D’Auria and Kortright presented 10 awards to local businesses which have supported and assisted the Sullivan County Long Beards during the past year.
Those award winners included and those accepting the awards included: www.landscapetrailers.com of Ferndale, accepted by Curtis Hodny and his daughter Isabella; Shewolf Taxidermy in Roscoe, accepted by Dianne Bacon; M&M Auto Group in Liberty, accepted by Howard Braunstein; The Corrections Officers of Sullivan Correctional Facility of South Fallsburg, accepted by Mark Puerschner; Friends of the National Rifle Association Sullivan County Chapter, accepted by Mike Gagliardi; TK Taxidermy in Youngsville, accepted by Tim Kautz; Fur, Fin and Feather Sport Shop in Livingston Manor, accepted by Sue Post; K.E. Greer Infrastructure, accepted by Karl Greer.
Jeremy Gulley of Catskill Pheasantry in Long Eddy and Gary Schmidt of Schmidt’s Wholesale in Monticello also earned SCLB awards, but were unable to attend the banquet to accept them in person.
“I’m so happy you all came to our banquet,” Hank D’Auria said. “Everything is going well.”
The SCLB also presented two scholarship awards to local high school seniors. The two award winners were brothers Zachary Connor, and Brent McKeon, both of whom are Eagle Scouts in Troop 97 in Grahamsville and seniors at Tri-Valley Central School.
Zachary Connor, who has a gpa of 85.77 and plans to major in Fisheries and Aquatics at SUNY Cobleskill this autumn, received the second place scholarship award in the amount of $500.
Brent McKeon, who has a gpa of 90.39 and plans to major in Wildlife Management at SUNY Cobleskill this autumn, received the first place scholarship award in the amount of $1,000.
Among those applauding Connor and McKeon for being such worthy scholarship winners and fine young men were their parents, Sean and Lynn McKeon.
“They are great kids,” Fran D’Auria said of Zachary Connor and Brent McKeon.
One of the banquet guests was Dave Davis, who is President of the Shawangunk Ridge Longbeards, a New York NWTF Chapter.
Davis noted that the Shawangunk Ridge Longbeards helped increase the amount of the Sullivan County Long Beards’ second place scholarship award to $500 this year.
“The Sullivan County Long Beards have been such an inspiration to our chapter,” Davis said.
Among the upcoming SCLB events are a youth turkey hunting contest on Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 and a Youth Fishing Derby from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 at Sonoma Falls in Livingston Manor.
As the banquet concluded, Hank D’Auria again thanked everyone for attending and all of the SCLB members for their work to make the banquet a success.
“I thank you all from the bottom of my heart,” D’Auria said.