Clay shoot aims to raise funds for School of PNG

Ed Blystone (left) of the Kenworth of PA team takes his shots at station #7, while teammates (continuing from left) Charlie Heller, Bob Zenker, Bill Burns and Shawn Brown look on.

Students and administrators from the Lackawanna College School of

LC Director of Development Mariellen Walsh and President Mark Volk welcomed participants at the registration tent. PHOTOS BY RICK HIDUK

Petroleum and Natural Gas completed their second full year as coordinators and managers of the annual Sporting Clay Tournament that bears their name and supports their efforts to move qualified students directly to employment in the natural gas industry. Approximately 165 shooters took to the ranges at Houseman’s Hidden Hollow sporting club near Friendsville on Thursday, Sept. 26.

“There are a lot of returning teams and a lot of excitement this morning,” said Lackawanna College (LC) President Mark Volk. He was beaming as he, along with LC Director of Development Mariellen Walsh, watched shooters approach the registration tables. Walsh expressed her gratitude for the participating companies helping the program grow at the school in New Milford Twp.

The fundraiser was started seven years ago by Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. Cabot remains a large supporter of the event, sponsoring the Green Course this while Southwestern Energy (SWN) sponsored the Red Course.

Both companies also had representatives among the shooters, as did dozens of other energy partners and local businesses that sponsored the shooting stations.

Following welcoming remarks, the men and women were off, shotguns in hand, tabulating each other’s scores at 10 stations each on one of the two courses. Participants also tackled some alternate stations where they could pick up raffle tickets for special prizes.

As he climbed onto a shuttle with the other members of his singles team, Bill White of K9 Corral in Scott Township explained that he got involved with the fundraiser when it started. His son, Bill, worked for Cabot. The elder Bill admits to being a pretty good trap shooter, but clay shooting presents a bit of a challenge to him. “I’m terrible at this,” he laughed, “But it’s fun.”

Morning sun gave way to some sprinkles and light showers, but the spirit of the contestants remained high as they returned to the big tent for lunch and announcement of the winners.

Team winners were Scott & Longacre Trucking and Greenley’s BBQ, both taking first place on the Green and Red courses, respectively. Cactus Wellhead and one of two teams from SWN took second place trophies for the same courses.

Top male and female shooters on the Green Course were Kyle Falkenberg, shooting for Scott & Longacre; and Julie Lewis, shooting for Leatherstocking. Nick Mattocks from SWN and Kelly Leap, representing TekSolv, were the high male and female scorers on the Red Course.

LC Vice President for College Advancement Brian Costanza reported about $60,000 in proceeds which will be used for equipment and supplies and other student and staffing needs. This year, the school will also create a Sporting Clay Scholarship with some of the funds, he noted.

Approximately 40 students assisted with the event this year, handling registration, parking, shuttling of participants to the various ranges and other logistics. Volk noted that the tournament provides a unique opportunity for the students to meet some of their potential future employers in a recreational setting.

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