Pictured above from left to right, front row—Tate Catanese and Keara Brady, essay contest grand prize winners; and back row—Mike Sperry, Sports Fishery Advisory Board Member; Pat Catanese, Tate’s father; Vince Horrigan, Chautauqua County Executive; and Matt Brady, Keara’s father.
MAYVILLE, N.Y.: -- Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan recently traveled to Chautauqua Marina to go fishing with the two grand prize winners of the Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board’s 25th Annual Fishing Essay Contest.
Keara Brady, a fourth grader from Brocton Central School, and Tate Catanese, a fourth grader from Panama Central School, won the opportunity to go fishing with Horrigan after their essays were selected out of 335 well-written and thoughtful entries from nine different schools and one home school across Chautauqua County.
Joining the winners and Horrigan on the trip were Matt Brady, Keara’s father; Pat Catanese, Tate’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 Ken Shearer, owner of 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 recall their fun fishing memories as they wrote about their favorite fishing spot in Chautauqua County and who they would like to go fishing with.
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.
“Each year I am so impressed with the high quality of the fishing essays submitted by Chautauqua County students,” said Horrigan. “I congratulate the teachers and thank the Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board for its dedication to the fishing essay contest and to the promotion of sport fishing across Chautauqua County.”
This year the board selected 68 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.
Winners for this year’s contest were for third grade: Landon Jasinski, Liam McCausland, Jenna McCloskey, Aryana Nickerson, and Adabella O’hara, Brocton Central School; Jacob Swanson, home schooled; and Bradley Brandow, Danny Callentine, Ryley Clutter, Denza Fanara, Kevin Herington, Isabella Jaquith, Georgianna Knott, Trent Lewis, Brianna Myers, and Jazmyn Tonkin, Sinclairville Elementary School.
For fourth grade: Anthony Cruz, Joleena Doner, and Madison Sears, Brocton Central School; Corbin Leach, Bush Elementary School; and Kadyn Abers, Gavin Anderson, Alex Barmore, Deidre Cavness, Emma Cooper, Ava Ecker, Logan Ellsworth, Cassie Lyon, Reese McGaffick, Brayson Peck, Collin Ryan, Andrew Spiesman, and Damien Stirerson, Panama Central School.
For fifth grade: Kristi Crandall, Aiden Gatto, Jarek Montalban, and Andrea Spiller, Brocton Central School; Mia Gorka, and Ava Kehrer, Fredonia Central School; Alexa LaBarr, Kaitlyn Swan, Damen Vincent, and Tyler Welch, H.C. Fenner Elementary School; Rylee Strefeler and Makayla Tabone, Northern Chautauqua Catholic School; Caroline Apthorpe, Stephanie Hovey, Ariana Oaks, and Haley Odell, Panama Central School; and Daniel Meeder, Sherman Central School.
For sixth grade: Joshua Swanson, home schooled; Aysia Reed, Panama Central School; and Jaylan Cordova, Ben Cornell, Ayeisha Cruz, Shyanne Gendron, Kassidy Halpainy-Livermore, Say’Dee Johnson, Olivia Kubera, Rhonda-Sue Leonard, Makiraha Marshall, Ethan Peelman-Gray, Sebastian Phelps, Thomas Rasmussen, Jayden Vaughn, and Lily Yonkers, 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 the Chautauqua County Federation of Sportsmens Clubs Inc., Lake Erie Management Council, Lions Club of Dunkirk-Fredonia, and Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation.
The contest has been held annually since 1992, with no essay being held in 2000.