Sporting Life

BAC Sporting Life

Journal: Issue 1 - 2013

On the job, BAC members give their all to carry on the Union's proud tradition of craftsmanship, skill and productivity as the trowel trades' "best hands in the business." Away from the jobsite or in retirement, whether it's hunting, camping, fishing, hiking, biking or just playing with their kids or grandkids in the backyard, members bring that same enthusiasm and spirit to an amazing array of sporting interests and hobbies.

To kick off this year's "Sporting Life," the Journal is highlighting a remarkable event organized by the Ohio-Kentucky Administrative District Council and Union Sportsman Alliance (USA) that offers an inspiring blend of love of the outdoors with Union service.

Fishing Derby Brings the Great Outdoors to Great Group of Kids

This youngster's smile and sense of accomplishment says it all, as Local 8 member Don McMurdy, right, helps him retrieve his catch.
Twenty Geauga County special needs children and their families enjoyed a day of fishing at the Walter C. Best Wildlife Preserve in Munson Township, Ohio, last June as part of the Union Sportsmen's Alliance's (USA) Boots on the Ground program and inaugural Take Kids Fishing Day, co-sponsored by the Ohio-Kentucky Administrative District Council, Local 16 OH, and the Geauga Park District.

Getting close to nature and dipping a line in the water was an opportunity some of these kids rarely have. Thanks to the Union, they enjoyed a sun-filled day harvesting bluegills, bass and catfish.

The ADC raised more than $30,000 to organize the event and dozens of members volunteered to give advice and encouragement to the young anglers. Each participant was given a rod and reel to test their skills and take home at the end of the day.

"It's really about the kids, not who got the biggest fish," said ADC Director Ken Kudela. "To see their eyes light up and to be able to participate in something beautiful that so many of us take for granted is just beyond words."

Burton Township Trustee, Local 16 OH member and volunteer Jim Dvorak also praised the program. "USA's Boots on the Ground Program helps us reach out to the communities and to accomplish good, positive things. We are Union craftworkers. We build buildings all the time, but with a program like this, we build relationships."

OH-KY ADC Field Representative Ted Linscott and his fishing partner. Proud volunteers and young anglers.
The fishing outing is the second USA-ADC sponsored event and follows their successful inaugural Youth Deer Hunt for special needs children in late 2011. And it certainly won't be the last. Director of USA Fundraising and Special Events Nate Whiteman said that the organization will continue working with BAC and other union brothers and sisters to provide children across the country an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

To find out how you can get involved with a USA Boots on the Ground program in your area, contact the USA's National Events and Fundraising Coordinator Tim Bindl at or 608-397-1023.

Local 16 member John Lucarelli and his teammate wait patiently for a nibble on the line. Local 8 Field Representative Jerre Riggle, left, with a happy youngster.

Local 1 Minnesota/North Dakota

To say Local 1 MN/ND member Nathan Toupal loves mountain biking is an understatement. When he's not on a road trip to Utah, Arizona, Colorado, California, Oregon, or Washington to mountain bike, he's traversing the Midwest. And in case you wondered, cold weather isn't an issue for this intrepid cyclist. In fact, Old Man Winter is a welcome friend. Brother Toupal can't wait to bike down the frozen river to Lake Superior and ride on giant ice mounds along the shoreline. In addition to biking, Nathan is a trail builder, giving his time to build the pump track for the Sea Otter Classic bike race in Monterey, CA, volunteering his skills to build new trails at Mont du Lac ski resort in Duluth, MN, or making trails on his own property.

Local 1 Pennsylvania/Delaware

Local 1 PA/DE member Mike Kelly, posing with his outstanding catch, a giant striper.
John Cuccurullo of Local 1 PA/DE had a great hunting season that included bagging this 11-point buck with his Browning 270 on the last day of rifle season. At right, he takes a 30-yard neck shot with his Excalibur crossbow late in archery season.

Local 9 Pennsylvania

Don Levic of Local 9 PA and Laura, his twelve-year-old daughter, posing with her first spring gobbler.

Local 9 PA retiree Jack Lynch caught this
crappie in Pymatuning Lake, PA.
After working in the trades for over 40 years, Local 9 PA retiree William "Shifty" Schaff has been enjoying his retirement traveling and fishing. In the Panama Canal, he and his son, who was in the Army at the time, caught 60 big mouth bass in two hours. Pictured, a 32-inch sea bass brother Schaff caught in the Chesapeake Bay in 2012.

Local 5 Ohio

Seventeen-year-old Joey Travagliante, grandson of Local 5 OH Life Member Joseph Travagliante, was a starting fullback on Avon High School's varsity football team.
From left, Local 5 OH members Leif Carlson, Cole Carlson, and a friend with a large haul of walleyes on a sunny day last July.

Local 4 Indiana/Kentucky

Local 4 IN/KY Field Representative David Brinegar's son Levi harvested his first deer.

Local 3 MA/ME/NH/RI

Local 3 MA/ME/NH/RI member Michael Lepre's son Michael fishing at a local campground. He was so excited to catch a bass!

Locals 1 Nova Scotia and 6 Ontario

Local 6 ON member Hugh Hanley's ten-year-old Ryan Hanley enjoyed trout fishing with his grandpa, Local 1 NS member Bernard Hanley, right, in Judique, Cape Breton.

Local 6 Illinois

Local 6 IL member Chris Robertson harvested this 245-pound bear with a compound bow in Caramat, ON at The Bears Den last August. Brother Robertson's granddaughter, Christin, right, gave him one of her cinnamon-powdered donuts to use as bait.

Local 21 Illinois

Local 21 member Gary Koehler's daughter Alicia proudly posing with this 35-inch, 12.5-pound northern pike caught on Lake Waubesa, Madison, WI in January. A grateful recipient of the Edward T. Joyce Scholarship, Alicia recently graduated from Loyola University and is now pursuing her physician's assistant certification.

Local 21 IL retired Life Member Eugene Gibellina, sharing memorable hunting times with his grandkids and son Eugene Jr. on their property in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Locals 8 and 13 Wisconsin

Local 13 WI Life Member Peter Ponti has been enjoying hunting and fishing with his two sons and six grandkids ever since he retired seven years ago. His achievements include, pictured here – clockwise from top left – a 20-inch, 5-pound large-mouth bass, a 41 ½-inch northern pike, a turkey bagged in 2003; a 19-inch smallmouth; and the deer harvested by Brother Ponti with his two sons within a mile of his home.
Local 8 WI member and retired WI ADC Field Representative Fred Hultquist, left, and Local 13 WI member and IMI Instructor Mark Graf on a fishing trip in Canada.

Local 4 California

Retired IU Vice President and Local 4 CA Life Member Frank Bachofer proudly displays this impressive steelhead salmon from the Snake River in Washington, with Idaho just across the river.

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