Members of the Sullivan County Long Beards joined people picking up turkeys for various organizations for a photo on Friday at M&M Auto Group, Inc. in Liberty. In the front row, from left to right, are Fran D’Auria, Mark Puerschner, Jim Cole, John Lacey and Randy Peters. In the back row, from left to right, are Frank Baer, Donna Kortright, Rich Decker, Jim Marion, Earl “Butch” Kortright, Gregg Feeney, Bill Burn, John Gain and Hank D’Auria.
Long Beards go long way for the needy on Thanksgiving
By Rob Potter
LIBERTY On Friday afternoon at M&M Auto Group, Inc. in Liberty, members of the Sullivan County Long Beards chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) continued a tradition they began back in 2002.
For the 10th consecutive year, the Sullivan County Long Beards purchased frozen turkeys and donated them to community organizations across Sullivan County through the Turkey Hunters Care Program. Those 20 community organizations in turn gave the turkeys to individual families and food pantries.
“That first year of 2002, we gave out 25 turkeys,” said Hank D’Auria, who is the Treasurer and Event Chairman of the Sullivan County Long Beards. “Today we are giving out 205 turkeys. Those turkeys have a total weight of 2,434 lbs.”
D’Auria noted that the price of turkey has increased during the past year.
“We spent a total of $3,012 on turkeys this year,” he said. “We spent about $1,000 more on turkeys this year than we did last year.”
But D’Auria and his fellow Long Beards members look forward each November to helping those who are less fortunate have a Happy Thanksgiving.
“We are a sporting organization, but we also do charity work,” he explained. “If other sporting organizations stepped up to the plate, it would really benefit the county. Times are tough and there are a lot of people in need.”
D’Auria noted that the Long Beards purchased the turkeys with money raised from the organization’s annual gun raffle.
“M&M Auto Group is a big supporter of the Sullivan County Long Beards,” he commented. “And Thunder Country 102 has become a big supporter of us this year.”
Hank D’Auria’s wife, Fran D’Auria, is the SCLB Secretary and the Organizer of the Turkey Giveaway.
“People are needy,” Fran D’Auria said. “We wish we could do more, but we did as much as we could.”
Fran D’Auria noted that all 205 frozen turkeys were purchased at Peck’s Market in Livingston Manor and Shop Rite in Liberty.
“Peck’s and Shop Rite both gave us discounts on the price of the turkeys, which we really appreciate,” Fran D’Auria said.
“And we couldn’t do this without all of these people and organizations who take the turkeys to those families who need them for the holiday,” she added. “Everyone involved with this program is great.”
The individuals and organizations who picked up the turkeys on Friday included:
Amy Brockner, Liberty Schools
Annette Rein, Pregnancy Support Group in Monticello
Bob Cady and Bob Wertheim, Livingston Manor Rotary Club and Churches for distribution
Frank Baer, Rolling Thunder
Gerry Daughtry and Rev. Lamb, Willowemoc Baptist Church
Gregg Feeney, Roscoe Firemen/Colchester
Jack Clark, Lutheran Church in Liberty
John Lacey, Sullivan County Veterans Coalition
John Whiteman and Larry Whipple, Calvary Baptist Church
Karl Greer, Food Pantry
Kristt Company, Monticello Rotary Club
Lejon Vinigre, Tri-Valley Central School and families
Lynne Hyzer, St. Aloysius Church in Livingston Manor
Mark McCarthy, Dutch Reform Church
Mark Puerschner, Cochecton
Pearl Gain, Jeffersonville Presbyterian Church
Phyllis Thomas Moore, five BOCES families
Rich Decker, Grooville Church
Shirley Fulton, Livingston Manor Methodist Church
William Burn, Jeffersonville.
TALE OF THE TURKEY
What: Turkey Hunters Care Program
Organizers: Sullivan County Long Beards
Turkeys Donated: 205
Total weight of turkeys: 2,434 pounds
Cost of turkeys: $3,012
Recipients: Individual families and food pantries
Community groups involved: 20 plus