2014 has begun. All of the officer positions have been filled with highly qualified members, John Stoughtenger as Vice President, Tom Presnell as Secretary and Ken Christie as Treasurer. We have a new Tournament Director in Bill Kays, a new Membership Director in Paul Hudson, a new Editor of Fishlines in Bud Cipoletti and a new PR Director in Duane Poole. Familiar faces are remaining on as well with Jim Moore handling Youth and High School, Barb Elliott as the Conservation Director, Dominc DiGriolamo as Scholarship Director and Ted Barth as Webmaster. Together, we will do our best to meet the needs of our members and to provide tournaments and programs that everyone can be proud of.
Our first activity is going to be Take a Soldier Fishing Day on Saturday April 26th at Oneida Shores Park. This is a very worthwhile event and this year Brian Eisch and Pat Grady are leading the committee to set up and run the event. I would ask all members to help if you can. Our first priority is to get boats committed so that we can plan for how many soldiers we can accommodate. There are sign up info both on the forum and our Facebook page.
Our Tournament Schedule was announced last June. We head to Lake Champlain at Plattsburgh on June 22nd, followed by Cayuga Lake at Union Springs on July 20th, then close out at Henderson Harbor on September 28th. We will continue with the $2500 guarantee first place boater prize and a $1500 guarantee non-boater first place prize for all three events. As of now, there is no plan for a participation prize this year. We will hold the Club Team Championship at Ogdensburg on August 16th and 17th. Information on hotels, additional rules and general information will be on the website by February 1st. I want to encourage all of you to participate in these tournaments. Our success in obtaining sponsorship is based on participation of the anglers. The more you become involved, the more our sponsors help us.
I also want to speak to the youth and high school program. Jim Moore is working tirelessly to develop a high school team concept program. This is the wave of the future for all of us. It is a way to involve our teenagers into our sport on a competitive basis. We all need to be receptive to this new program and to help Jim when we can to make this a success.
Lastly I want to speak about a new concept at BASS called the Team Tour. This has been started with the idea of involving the many team trails into the BASS family. In New York, there are several strong team trails that might be recognized by BASS. If anyone is interested, please contact me at email@example.com.
When you attend events, please introduce yourself and say hello. I will try to be available to everyone but at times I have to do a balancing act. I am also setting up a series of Meet the President Forums around the state to make myself available to regions to cut down on the driving. All of our Federation meetings are at Bass Pro Shops Auburn because they have a meeting room and they are a strong supporter of our Federation. A Meet the President event will be located in an area where several clubs can attend without driving too far. When one is in your area, please take the time to attend and meet me and learn more about the opportunities available to you as a member.