Pictured above from left to right: George Borrello, Chautauqua County Executive; Dan Heitzenrater, Executive Assistant; Mike Sperry, Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board Member and Owner of Chautauqua Reel Outdoors; Isabella Buckley, essay contest grand prize winner; Aleah Dziduch, Isabella’s mother; Connor Horner; essay contest grand prize winner; and Andy Horner, Connor’s father.
MAYVILLE, N.Y.: -- Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello recently traveled to Chautauqua Marina to go fishing with the two grand prize winners of the Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board’s 27th Annual Fishing Essay Contest.
Isabella Buckley, a fourth grader from Northern Chautauqua Catholic School, and Connor Horner, a fourth grader from Panama Central School, won the opportunity to go fishing with Borrello after their essays were selected out of 362 well-written and thoughtful entries from 12 different schools across Chautauqua County.
Joining the winners and Borrello on the trip were Aleah Dziduch, Isabella’s mother; Andy Horner, Connor’s father; Dan Heitzenrater, Executive Assistant; and Mike Sperry, Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board Member and Owner of Chautauqua Reel Outdoors. Sperry volunteered his professional guide services for the day’s two-hour excursion and Chautauqua Marina contributed to the event by providing a boat for the trip.
The Fishing Essay Contest gave students across Chautauqua County in third through sixth grades the opportunity to write about what they and their classmates could do to help preserve Chautauqua County’s rivers, lakes and ponds for fishing and enjoying nature.
In May and June, the County Executive joined Sports Fishery Advisory Board Chairman Zen Olow; sports fishery advisory board members; and county legislators at their local school districts to deliver certificates to students who participated.
“With five lakes, a river and countless creeks and streams, our county is a world-class place to fish,” said Borrello. “Keeping kids active in outdoor recreation like fishing is an important part of maintaining our unique quality of life in Chautauqua County. I truly appreciate everything that the dedicated members of the advisory board do to work with our youth and keep them engaged about protecting and preserving our wonderful natural assets like our water.”
This year the board selected 47 winners who all received fishing poles and certificates. From this group of winners, the County Executive then selected the two grand prize winners to go on a fishing trip.
The other 45 winners for this year’s contest were for third grade: Nathan Cieplinski, Cadence Fitzgibbons, Remington Jarvis, Ethan Kessler, Makenzie Lahnen, Reese McKay, Faith McVey, Austin Myers, Emma Nickerson, Katreena O’Rourke, Alexis Pattyson, Kianna Sanchez and Kadence Swanson, Sinclairville Elementary School.
For fourth grade: Sienna Alston and Avery Green, Northern Chautauqua Catholic School; Aniela Becker, Haven Karlson, Jessica Lyon, Renee Raynor and Michael Spiesman, Panama Central School; Jenna Voigt, Silver Creek Central School; and Lance Franklin and Liberty Maring, Westfield Academy and Central School.
For fifth grade: Zachary Atayde and Jazmyn Young, Brocton Central School; Jose Olivo Acosta and Justice Thomas-Rivera, Dunkirk School 5; Braedyn Ambrose, Ryan Koopman, Brooke Proper and Mariella Russo, Fredonia Middle School; Bradley Hitchcock, H.C. Fenner Elementary School; Trenton Benson and Brooke Lee, Robert H. Jackson Elementary School; and Arielle Corbett and Ada Wiseman, Westfield Academy and Central School.
For sixth grade: Rylan Wagner, Southwestern Central School; Colin Brand, Brianna Dunn, Ashlyn Galeazzo, Dylan Gullo, Eric Mejias, Naveah Montanez, Arriane Nollinger, and Roberto Ramirez, Washington Middle School.
The Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board has developed the essay contest to promote awareness of Chautauqua County’s ecology, the factors that influence it, and the role each student plays in maintaining its quality in the future.
This year’s contest was sponsored by the County Executive’s Office, County Legislature, and a majority of the prizes were funded through the support of Cabela’s and the Lake Erie Management Commission.
The contest has been held annually since 1992, with no essay being held in 2000.