USO Fundraising to Support our Brave Troops
At the March 2015 World Eastern Fishing and Outdoor Expo
To sum up the March 5 to 8, 2015 event, the first word that comes to mind is ‘AWESOME’! Supported by the Bergen Bassmasters, the NY TBF and the Plattsburgh College Bass Club, the four day annual USO fundraising donation booth and the First Ever Saturday Auction took in over $13,250! We basically doubled the revenue from 2014 and most likely, guaranteed an auction repeat going forward. The USO Show Troupe staff of James Shakelford, Heather Harris and Director Jessica Herman (with fiancé Leo Dubrovsky) had plenty of help all four days and everyone needs to be thanked: From Bergen we had Kris Lechman, Bill Vella, John Hart (and dad John M. Hart), Bruce MacConchie, John Williams, Frank Freguletti, Sean Combs (with sons Matt and Brad), Greg Trass, Alan Goldman and me. From the NY TBF and the Plattsburgh Bass Club we had Bobby Williams (president), Ben Wright, Ricky Lee, Brendan Bolis, Jason Karol and Ted Appleton. From Bass University and the Bass Bureau we had our auctioneer extraordinaire Bill Decoteau (with wife Trish) and acting as our official auction photographers was the ‘Real Deal’ team of Ritchie Moschella and fiancé Caitlyn. Overall, this was an outstanding team effort and everyone is looking forward to a repeat performance next year. With a few more tweaks, reaching the $20K plateau is quite possible.
Of course the auction would not be possible without the contributions from our sponsors and supporters. We sincerely thank all of these great organizations: BASS University, Wiley X, Inc., Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Gander Mountain, the Bergen Bassmasters, Dick’s Sporting Goods, the Hamburg Microtel, the Meadowlands Renaissance Hotel, the Thayer Hotel at West Point, Shimano, Daiwa, Cashion Rods, Optima Batteries, Ranger Boats, Morris County Marine, North Jersey Marine, Greenwood Lake Marina, Capital District Marina, Reynolds Marine, Lima & Sons Marine, Pro Mariner Battery Chargers, Orvis, Ramsey Outdoor, MegaStrike, Gamma Fishing Line, Steve & Roberts Bait and Tackle, the Sherman Group, Kicker Baits, the NY TBF, Pfizer Inc. and the NY Giants. The auction venue, in the main seminar area at the Expo, was excellent and for that we need to thank Tod Alberto, show director with the American Sportfishing Association.
And finally, let’s not forget the focus of our support. Since 1947, the USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families more than 10 million times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit www.usonyc.org.
Starting as a USO liaison for Pfizer Inc., I have been a USO volunteer since 2000. Back in 2008 I initiated the USO – Bergen Bassmaster alliance and Vietnam Veteran Terry Eckel joined me in our first Bergen - NYC USO meeting. As our plan for a USO Benefit tournament on Candlewood Lake fell through (Danbury town wanted money from us), we ended up with the successful 2009 Hudson River Challenge (see the LUNKERVILLE NBC Sports episode entitled ‘Pete Knows Things’). By then, our dear buddy, Vietnam Veteran Bob Murphy (RIP) was on board. Bob and I were a great team and as I concentrated on coordinating various benefit tournaments, he took the annual USO Expo donation booth to another level. Bob also took on many more USO volunteer roles in NY, CT and NJ and received a well-deserved “USO Volunteer of the Year” award in 2012. Bob would be thrilled about the 2015 Expo results and happy to know that the Bergen Bassmasters continue to provide outstanding support to our brave troops. He would also welcome the new additions to our annual Expo volunteer base (NY TBF, Plattsburgh College Bass Club, Bill Decoteau and Ritchie Moschella).
Also, in the memory and honor of US Military veterans Bob Murphy, Bob Puente, my dad, Nick Albano, Sr., (Battle of the Bulge - Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster), and to support the ACS in general, I always plan to fish in the “Fish for the Cure” benefit tournaments on Candlewood Lake. This year, it will take place Friday, May 8.
Nick Albano, Bergen Bassmasters
Ramsey Outdoor "Cast and Blast"
Bergen Bassmaster table was well
A predicted COLD wind put a damper on our
Bassin’ Lane Open participation but with a sunny sky, the bass
fishing was doable.
Considering the raw weather plus the fact
that a couple other Opens were scheduled elsewhere, signing up
11 teams was not bad. At blast off, the air temp was around 38 and the wind was 15
MPH, but after a few hours, the wind was gusting up to 45 MPH.
If in open water with wind power only, my Ranger was moving at
3MPH! With water temps dropping 10 degrees in one week (58 to
48), The bass fishing was a tougher than usual. Fortunately, the
Mohawk was running clear with a steady, but slow current. To
find active bass, most anglers had a hard time – others were
culling right away.
Bergen’s Frank Freguletti and partner Eric Lehman were culling
by 8:30 and they took a 3rd Place check with 8 bass at 17-3.
Special congrats are in order for Frank – as a boater, this was
his first tournament in his new Ranger – a Great Way to Break It
Doug Giachino and I lost few nice bass but didn’t actually
boat one until 1PM. Dougie then nailed the 3-8 lunker of the day
spinnerbait and I added 3 more on a jerkbait. After finding
active bass, we could have used another hour. First place goes
to the Team
of Morrison and Raimo who bagged a nice 21-9 limit.
All in all this was one of the most toughest Bassin’ Lane Opens
that I fished in.
All Bass (Small Mouths) released alive
Bergen Bassmasters' Doug Giachono with the tournament lunker, a 3lb 8oz Smallmouth Bass.
BACK-TO-BACK BERGEN BASSMASTERS
ANGLER OF THE YEAR (2013 & 2014)
2014 AOY Page
Winner, October 18, 2014
SARATOGA LAKE TOURNAMENT
Total Weight of 13lb 13 Oz
And Lunker Winner
with a 4lb 4 oz Largemouth
Click here for the Overall tournament results
Winner of the 2014 Bergen Bassmasters Classic
Lakes Bomoseen and Saint Catherine
September 6th and 7th, 2014
Two-Day Total Weight: 22lbs,6 oz
2014 Classic Winning Team: Team Filippini
Team Total Weight:96 lbs 8oz
CAPTAIN: Mark Filippini
Anglers: Mike Rinaldi, Kris Lechman, Mark Scocco, Nick Albano, Ed Schickman, Rich Logan Sr., Bruce MacConchie, and John Giordano
(Mark with a 7lb, 1 oz Lunker from Day 1 Pictured above)
1st Place: Team Filippini; 96 lbs 8 oz
2nd Place: Team Ernest; 92lbs 4 oz
Third Place: Team Gatson; 73 lbs 9 oz
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