OUTING FOR THE DISABLED
June 2, 2018
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Bergen Bassmasters Continue to Support
For the first time, the Bergen Bassmaster USO Volunteer Team and Friends coordinated the first ever Auction and Fundraising Booth at the recent Garden State Outdoor Show (Raritan Convention Center) January 13 and 14. With the extra support from Bobby Uhrig, President and CEO of MegaStrike, Rick Rosalina (Show Chairman) and Antonio ‘Go Go’ Gomez (co-auctioneer), the Bergen Team had all the help they needed. The Bergen Team of Sean Combs, John Williams, Bruce MacConchie, Bill Vella and Nick Albano were given VIP treatment by Show Chairman Rick Rosalina. We received complimentary space, a stage for the auction, all the display tables we needed and most importantly, our auction was scheduled during prime time, 2:30PM on Saturday. Auction prizes totaling a value of over $10,000 were further enhanced by late collections by Bobby Uhrig, who attended a vendor show the week before in South Carolina. Top auction prizes included a G Loomis GLX rod with a Chronarch reel combo worth $730, two Optima Blue Top batteries worth $660, an Aqua View underwater camera worth $330 and many other items. Bobby’s late additions included Mike Iaconelli, Shaw Grisby and John Crews signed fishing shirts, multiple Gary Yamamoto fishing suits, hats and polo shirts, two sets of Duckett rods and reels and other items. The most unusual auction item was a signed and framed photo of Capt. Paul Tibbets standing next to the Enola Gay bomber that dropped the A bomb on Hiroshima. With a two hour auction and a two day donation booth, our
all-volunteer managed event took in a combined total of $7,241! Out total overhead expense was zero.
Kicking off the auction was non-other than Col Jack Jacobs (Ret. U.S. Army). The New Jersey native is a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient (Vietnam War), a USO of Metropolitan New York board member, and current NBC Military analyst commentator. Col Jacobs, along with Derrick Jeter, was recently inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. The Col talked about what the USO does for our troops both globally and in our regional area. There are currently four USO Centers in our area including Kennedy Airport, Port Authority in NYC, Fort Hamilton in the Bronx and Newark Airport Terminal B. A fifth USO Center in being proposed for either the Hartford Airport of the Groton Submarine Base. Also, with a new USO Center in Antarctica, there are now USO Centers on every continent! As a Four Star Charity Navigator non-profit, 92 percent of all revenue goes to programs supporting active military members, their families, wounded warriors and retirees. We thank Col Jacobs for taking the time to kick off our auction!
With a full “basket” of prizes taking two hours to auction off, it was decided to hold off two Top Prizes that will be "Silent Auctioned" at the USO Fundraising Booth at the March World Fishing and Outdoor Expo on March 1 to 4, 2018; Three NY Giant 2018 home game tickets (c/o Mike Maddaloni) with pre-game field access (c/o Bergen’s Rob Curtis) and Two Days of Giant Smallie Fishing with Bobby Williams in Maine. The winning bidder will be confirmed at 5PM, Sunday March 4th. The winner need not be present but will be notified and will receive his/her prizes after payment is mailed and received by the USO NYC office.
The USO Volunteer Management Team of Sean Combs, Bobby Uhrig, Bobby Williams, Bill Decoteau and Nick Albano Thank Col Jack Jacobs and all of our Bergen Bassmaster Volunteers, Go Go Gomez and his Volunteer Support Team, Show Chairman Rick Rosalina, and all of our Auction Prize Contributors and our Auction Attendees!
Remember, Freedom isn’t Free, Help Support our Troops!
To View More images of the event, CLICK HERE
Bergen Bassmasters Earn More Stripes
The Bergen Bassmasters know that Freedom isn’t Free and as a tribute to our Military, we support our troops via the USO of Metropolitan New York. Running benefit bass tournaments, donation booths and auctions for many years, we managed our first ever fundraising event at the huge Bass Pro Shop in Bridgeport, CT on Veteran’s Day 11/11/17.
With the approval of Bass Pro Shop, we set up our donation exhibit in the main lobby next to a roaring fireplace and a giant Christmas Tree. It was an excellent location to greet hundreds of BPS men, women and children patrons and an excellent venue to make our pitch to support our service members c/o the USO of Metropolitan New York. A congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities, and is powered by a family of volunteers to accomplish their mission of connection. The USO operates six USO centers in the tristate area at JFK and Newark Airports; Port Authority Bus Terminal and Fort Hamilton in NYC, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in NJ; and Fort Drum in Watertown, NY. A seventh Center is being considered in Connecticut.
At Bass Pro Shop, hats off to our volunteer Team of Sean Combs, John Williams, Bill Vella, John Hart Sr., John Hart Jr. and Bruce MacConchie. We collected $1,700 and our overhead cost was zero. We like to Thank Bobby Uhrig of MegaStrike who donated our matching fishing shirts and who will be funding, along with Bobby Williams (National TBF), the cost of our March USO donation booth at the World Fishing and Outdoor Expo. For coordinating the hand off of the USO marketing equipment and hand-outs, I thank USO Staff members Bethany Biszko, Karen Golden and Cathy DeSilva. For providing us with many extra donated handouts, special thanks goes out to Sean Combs, our Bergen Bassmaster webmaster, and to his wife Lisa Combs who took some great photos. And finally, we thank the Bridgeport Bass Pro Shop management Team and Staff for their Hospitality and Support of our Troops c/o the USO of Metropolitan New York. Managers Loretta Mercado, Murissa Rotz and Patrick Bellew were especially cooperative and gave us the BEST LOCATION IN THE HOUSE! For proof, see the first photo below.
Bergen’s Fall Open – Feast or Famine
Due to lock repairs and questionable Mohawk River water levels, Bergen’s annual Bassin’ Lane Open was moved to Candlewood Lake, October 28th. The event was conducted during a record warm October and Candy water temps were in the low 60’s, much higher than normal. Finding the key to the correct tactic or pattern was difficult but for half the field who got it right, it was a BONANZA! Most of the successful anglers nailed their big bags drop-shotting humps in 30 to 40 feet. As water temps hovered in the low sixties, cold water jerkbait action was weeks away. Hats off to the only Bergen Team who weighed in a limit! Justin Scales and Dave Sabatino weighed in 14.38 and won two $50 MegaStrike gift certificates c/o Bobby Uhrig. Given two other opens in our area on the same day (Hudson River and Mahopac Lake), our 14 boats with 28 anglers was not bad. Special Thanks goes out to the Bergen Guys who fished the event and assisted with the registration and weigh-in….John Ernest, John Hayden, Justin Scales, Dave Sabatino and Frank Freguletti. Super Special Thanks goes out to Bobby Uhrig of MegaStrike who donated $200 worth of gift certificates.
Be sure to check out Bobby’s new Cavitron Buzzbait with clapper and the new fat bodied Swimbait.
Congratulations to all the Top Finishers, especially to Kevin Rose and Matt Sweeney (pictured below) for a giant bag of Candlewood smallies!
Winner, Saratoga Tournament
Total Weight of 13.60 lbs
2017 BERGEN CLASSIC CHAMPION
Total 2-Day Weight of 37.92 lbs
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