Story by Sharon Space-Bamberger
On September 22nd, the S.C. Long Beards held their 8th Annual JAKES event at Roscoe’s Firemen’s Park. Two hundred and ninety-eight kids and their families enjoyed exhibits and demonstrations of healthy outdoor sports.
In 2011, the S.C. Long Beards won an award from the National Wild Turkey Federation for, “The best JAKES event with more than 250 participants” for nurturing youth interest and education in outdoor sports.
It is no mystery why they were chosen for the award!
The recent JAKES extravaganza included archery, birdhouse building, a 25-foot rock-climbing wall and Jim Rennison’s “Marine” NASCAR simulator. After a mandatory Gun Safety course, children participated in BB Gun JAKES Take Aim, a Laser Shoot, a .410 Shotgun Shoot, and an Air Gun .177 cal. Shoot. Other attractions included a petting zoo with pygmy goats and rabbits, Snake Man’s Snake Show, a raptor demonstration, and “Wild Man Jack’s Adventure Show” with an alligator named “Stumpy” and other critters.
Event Chairman Hank D’Auria and his wife Fran thanked the volunteers who work the event each year and those who donated money and materials. They were especially appreciative of two “Extreme Jakes” (ages 12-17) volunteers, Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Sanok, 15, of Grahamsville, who taught kids to fly tie and Ethan Morgan, 16, of Narrowsburg who grew Bi-Color swamp oak saplings to help the environment. Morgan gave a potted oak to any child at the JAKES event who promised to nurture the tiny tree.
Ethan, who was chosen “Jake of the Year” by the Wild Turkey Foundation in 2011 explained, “I decided to give back. I won Youth events at the JAKES shooting and fishing events and I wanted to help other kids enjoy the outdoors.”
When asked about funding for the JAKES events, Secretary Fran D’Auria revealed, “We got a stipend from the NRA, they’ve been wonderful. We sell raffle tickets at other events. The people of the community help us the most; it’s bad times but they give from the heart.”
Winners of the 2012 SCLB Annual Gun Raffle were:
Bill Blinn Browning .270 White Gold Medallion rifle w/Monarch scope.
Hank Cooper Henry Golden boy 44 rifle.
Christina Marchese Smith & Wesson M & P .22 rifle.
Wild Turkey Federation volunteers will be selling raffles throughout 2013 to help kids enjoy outdoor sports at WTF events first prize is an NRA Collectible Mossberg Rifle, number 8 out of fifty, worth $2,000.00.