By Rob Potter
ROSCOE The main dining room of the Rockland House in Roscoe was filled on Saturday night as the Sullivan County Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs held its 38th annual Dinner Banquet.
Federation President Jack Danchak, who served as master of ceremonies for the event, announced sweepstakes and raffle winners, presented three President’s Awards and announced Hank Samyn as the Federation’s 2011 Sportsman of the Year.
Danchak noted that “one of the main purposes of this banquet is to thank the people who contributed in any way to help make this a successful year for our Sportsmen’s Federation.”
He then named all 45 past recipients of the Sportsman of the Year award, from the first recipients Harry Darbee and Elsie Darbee in 1966 to Harold Buley last year.
Danchak spoke in particular about one of those past Sportsman of the Year honorees, Frank Hartmann, who also served as the Federation President for 15 years.
“He was very dedicated to this organization and accomplished so much for sportsmen,” Danchak said of Hartmann. “He helped build the foundation for us to follow which I have for the past 22 years. Frank was definitely a role model and I’m sure this Federation will speak highly of him for many years to come.”
Danchak took a few moments to talk about the Federation and some of its upcoming events. With 107 member clubs, the Sullivan County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs represents thousands of sportsmen and it is the largest Sportsmen’s Federation in New York State.
Among the upcoming programs and events are the release of about 1,000 pheasants this week throughout Sullivan County and the stocking of $5,000 worth of crappies, walleye and bass to selected public access waters at the end of this month.
In addition, the Sullivan County Sportsmen’s Federation will hold its annual Youth Ice Fishing Derby on private Crystal Lake owned by the Ten Mile River Boy Scouts of America on Jan. 28, 2012.
Then on Feb. 10, 11 and 12, 2012 the Federation will conduct its annual three-day Coyote Hunt. The contest offers $2,000 for the heaviest coyote and $100 for every coyote entered.
In April 2012, the Federation will host its annual Awards Banquet and Wildgame Dinner to recognize the general public for their game takes and outstanding fish catches for adults and children who entered the Federation’s yearly contest.
Julie Allen represented U.S. Congressman Maurice Hinchey and Linda Cellini represented New York State Senator John J. Bonacic at the banquet as both Hinchey and Bonacic were unable to attend themselves.
In brief remarks, Allen and Cellini both praised the Federation for all its work and noted how much Hinchey and Bonacic appreciate the Federation and its members.
Danchak introduced the Federation officers and committee chairpersons. They included Vice President Hank Samyn, Secretary Edna Calkin and Treasurer Ray Herbert, Trustees Bruce Miller, Bob Aber and Keith Krause, Harvey Dickens (Big Game and Pro Hunting Chairman), Joe Kaiser (Small Game Chairman), Tony Fello (Fish Chairman), Harris Meyers (Habitat Improvement Chairman), Keith Krause (Conservation Education Chairman), Bob Aber (Sportsman Education Chairman), Herb DeWitt (New York City Watershed Reservoirs and Sportsman of the Year Chairman), Kay Danchak (Grahamsville Fair, Youth Day Expo, Sweepstakes and Awards and Wildgame Chairwoman), Carl Lindsley (Youth Ice Fishing Derby Chairman), Ray Herbert (Scholarship Chairman), Bill Gaudette (Delegate to the Fish and Wildlife Board in Region 3 and Delegate to the New York State Conservation Council), David Hartmann (Alternate Delegate to the New York State Conversation Council) and Elizabeth Meyers and Harris Meyers (Master Hunting Instructors).
Sullivan County Clerk Dan Briggs, County Legislature Chairman Jonathan Rouis and County Sheriff Mike Schiff all took a moment to thank the Federation.
“The Federation represents all that is good about Sullivan County,” Briggs said. “You couldn’t ask for better stewards of our natural resources.”
“As the father of four, I appreciate your Youth Day,” Schiff said. “You teach our kids how to shoot a bow, how to catch a fish and about the outdoors. Thank you members of the Federation for all that you do.”
Rouis praised the Federation for putting the funding it receives from the county to good use.
When he returned to the podium, Jack Danchak recognized some individuals for their contributions to the Federation. Those individuals were Pat Voges and Trish Voges, Warren Krum and Barbara Krum, Dan Millis, Harry Walker, Harold Holt, Ed Loughrey and Kay Danchak.
Kay Danchak presented a special Rock Award to her brother Ed Loughrey for being a loyal and dependable member of the Federation.
“Whenever I call him and ask him to do something for us, it gets done,” Kay Danchak said.
Jack Danchak then presented three President’s Awards. The first award went to Tony Fello. Danchak noted that Fello “has only been involved with the Federation for a few years, but his willingness to help is appreciated.”
The second award went to Bruce Miller. Danchak praised Miller for being “a loyal and dedicated person who helps at all Federation functions.”
The third award went to Carl Lindsley, whom Danchak noted “has been a dedicated sportsman all his life and comes from a family of sportsmen.”
Danchak then spoke about the accomplishments of the Sportsman of the Year Hank Samyn. Samyn is a former school bus driver and retired Corrections Officer. He is a past Fire Chief and District Commissioner of his township.
In addition to enjoying NASCAR racing, Samyn is a member of four hunting clubs: Cher Acres Hunting Club, Grahamsville Rod & Gun Club, Hunter Road Hunting Club and Patton Hunting Club.
Samyn serves as the Federation Vice President and on the Coyote Hunt, Youth Day and Ice Fishing Derby committees.
“Although he is retired, he keeps very busy and there is never a dull moment in his life,” Danchak said of Samyn. “He is always there for this Federation and we are very proud and fortunate to have him as a member. Ladies, gentlemen and fellow sportsmen, it is truly and honor and with great pleasure to present to you our 2011 Sportsman of the Year, Hank Samyn.”
Samyn then graciously accepted the Sportsman of the Year plaque from Danchak as well as Certificates of Merit from Congressman Maurice Hinchey, New York State Senator John J. Bonacic, New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Jonathan Rouis.
“Thank you all for this honor,” Samyn said. “Thank you all for coming tonight and I hope to see all of you next year. Come out to our Federation events, we need your help.”
Special guests who were in attendance included Sullivan County Legislators Leni Binder, Kathy LaBuda, Ron Hiatt, Jonathan Rouis, Alan Sorensen and Elwin Wood, Sheriff Mike Schiff, District Attorney Jim Farrell, County Clerk Dan Briggs, County Manager David Fanslau, District 1 Legislature candidate Rick Lander, District 5 Legislature candidate Gregg Semenetz, Town of Neversink Council candidate Chris Matthews, New York State DEC Lt. Deming Lindsley, retired DEC Wildlife Specialist Carl Lindsley, Betty and Paul Hartmann, Harold Buley, Rich Post and Sue Post of Fur, Fin and Feather Sports Shop, Bill Smith and Donnie Decker of the Ulster County Sportsman Federation, Federation Coyote Contest weightmasters Warren Krum and Barbara Krum and Dan Millis.