Williams Sporting Clay Event Raises Funds for United Way

Williams employees Tammy Bennett of Towanda and Hayleigh Fekette of New Milford (top, second and third from left) pitch extra raffle tickets on a “money shoot” to Earth Armour team members (from left) Ben Ryon of Factoryville, Mike Sellitto of Susquehanna, Nick Mattocks of Springville, and Jeff Smith of Kingsley. Phoenix Specialties took the prize for the highest scoring team with 325 points, each winning two boxes of shotgun shells and sharing a plaque. Winners included (above, from left) Bernie Williams of Liberty, Ryan Calkins of Rome, Jeff Castle of Troy and (not pictured) Ryan Ings of Williamsport. First place female shooter for the day at Williams’ Clays for a Cause event was was Megan Karhnak (below, left) of Springville. Tracey Gregory of Dalton (right) prevailed in a tie-breaker shoot-off to win two boxes of ammo and a plaque as the top male and best overall shooter of the day.

Employees from Williams Susquehanna River Supply Hub and beyond descended on Rock Mountain Sporting Clays near Springville recently for a friendly competition called Clays for a Cause that netted a significant contribution for the United Way of Bradford County. Thirty-six teams completed a course of 25 shooting stations on the morning of May 12 before gathering for a catered luncheon, winning prizes from an expansive raffle table, and applauding those who took home the top shooting prizes.

We are still calculating and waiting on funds for a total, but the clay shoot was a huge success, and all of the proceeds will be given to the United Way of Bradford County,” said Tammy Bonnice of Williams.

Joining the Williams staff at the fundraiser were managers and employees of other companies in the natural gas industry who sponsored teams, meals, and the event itself. This year marked a return to the sporting clays competition after two years of supporters enjoying a game of golf together. The majority of this year’s participants were from Bradford and Tioga counties, including those from Williams’ office in Wysox and their many industry partners. But others came Wyoming and Susquehanna counties and from as far away as Williamsport and Michigan.

Key sponsors this year included Encompass Pipeline, Flynn Energy, Cleveland Brothers, Hague Equipment, Cameron Valves, CEC, Champion X, Enerflex, Evergreen Oil Solutions, M&J Valve, Stafursky Paving, US Inspections, Howard Energy, Balon Corporation, Phoenix Specialties, and Rain for Rent. Phoenix also sponsored a pre-event gathering at Shadowbrook Resort in Tunkhannock on May 11.

What they do for the United Way and the money they raise that stays local is incredible,” said Shawn Sullivan, a representative for Flynn Energy. He also enjoys the networking opportunities that the fundraisers offer and reciprocal support Williams for Flynn’s annual golf tournament in June.

Participants ranged in ability and expertise from novices to those like Eric Ord and Rick Ord of Brooklyn who consider themselves regulars at Rock Mountain Sporting Clays. “We like to shoot,” said Eric Ord. “It’s a nice place with a great staff, and the course is challenging.”

Rommy Talladay of East Smithfield, who works out of William’s Wysox office, was one of many participants who were happy to be back on a shooting range. The other members of his three-man team were Jim Maroz, a Hatfield employee, and Josh Draves, who works for SAMCO Technologies. They had previously shot for the United Way when the event was held at Thunder Mountain Sporting Clays in Tioga County.

Everything was new to Trevor Williams of LeRoy, a shooter for Flynn Energy. He’d never before been to the venue or shot sporting clays, despite being an avid deer and small game hunter. “It sounded like fun,” and I’m having a great time so far,” he proclaimed as he worked his way through the course.

I just like getting out into the fresh air and raising money for the United Way,” Diane Lantz remarked. A Williams employee at the Wysox office, Lantz was joined on the course by Rusty Russell and Dale and Ashlee Gow from the Tunkhannock office.

As the echoes of gunfire in the ravine waned, shooters gathered back at the main pavilion for lunch prepared and provide by Balon Valve employees Cody Conner (above, left) and Brandon Rajecki. Williams regional VP Jack Walsh (below, left), a board member of the United Way of Wyoming County, thanked those in attendance for their support of the event. “The money that goes to the United Way makes a big difference in our communities,” he stated.

Williams’ de facto DJ and emcee Nick Lee (above, right) handled ongoing announcements and the distribution of raffle prizes with help from Alisha Polzella of Williams. Lee also congratulated the winners of the competition. First place female shooter for the day was Megan Karhnak of Springville with 51 points. Tracey Gregory of Dalton and Jeff Cassell of Troy tied for first place among male shooters with 94 points each. A tie-breaker shoot-off between the two determined Gregory as the best overall shooter of the day and the winner of two boxes of ammo and a plaque.

Phoenix Specialties took the prize for the highest scoring team with 325 points, with Bernie Williams of Liberty, Ryan Calkins of Rome, Jeff Cassell of Troy, and Ryan Ings of Williamsport each winning two boxes of shotgun shells and sharing a plaque.

This is not the only time throughout the year that Williams supports the United Way,” Bonnice explained. “We are a sponsor for their annual tournament at the Towanda Golf Club and sponsor many area United Way agencies at our BBQ fundraiser in September.” Many Williams employees commit to ongoing contributions to the agency through payroll deductions.

Williams is an amazing organization, and their employees are incredibly committed to their community,” said Joan Smith-Reese, executive director of the United Way of Bradford County. “Their donations allow us to financially assist 49 agencies that we fund. We can’t thank Williams enough for their contributions.”

Williams’ barbecue fundraiser for local United Way agencies will take place in Lazy Brook Park in Tunkhannock on Friday, Sept. 15.

Flynn Energy had several teams and many shooters in the competition. Giving away coffee and donuts and some Flynn swag were (from left) Howard Sole, Shawn Sullivan, Robert Tomlinson.

Williams employees Nick Lee (above, left) and Alisha Polzella announced the winners of the raffle prizes.

Clays for a Cause participants enjoyed incredible picnic faire prepared by Balon Valve employees.

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