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Contact Information:
 President
Jerry Skrypzak

Vice President
Ed Kissell

Secretary
Don Tombaugh

Treasurer
John Krupinski

Mail: PO Box 3605
Erie, Pennsylvania 16508

Phone/Fax: 814-453-2270

E-Mail
sonslakeri@aol.com

 


 NEWS

 

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SONS VOLUNTEERS HOLD FISH FRY FOR THE EMMAUS SOUP KITCHEN

In spite of pandemic restrictions. the SONS of Lake Erie was able to continue with providing a fish fry for some of our less fortunate citizens at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen in 2021. This has been a priority with us for the last 7 years. On Tuesday October 19, 2021 ten SONS volunteers prepared over 75 pounds of walleye fillets which were donated by generous anglers who participated in an August 14th fishing tournament that was sponsored by Poor Richards's Bait and Tackle shop and the East End Angler bait shop. The fillets were prepared by placing them in a beer batter and deep frying them. They were made into sandwiches, placed into box lunches and distributed to 195 individuals.

Holland Street Fishing Pier Project Completed

On Oct 16, 2018 - The PA Fish and Boat Commission approved a grant for an Erie Access Improvement Program grant in the amount of $382,400 to the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority. Grant dollars generated through the sale of special Lake Erie fishing permits will fund the construction of a 130-foot handicapped accessible fishing platform at the Holland Street Pier.

Two years later the engineering is complete and the bids have been awarded. It was a bit scary for a few days. Bids for the project were open on September 22, 2020. Perry Construction Co. was the low bidder at $552,000, far more than the  $382,410 appropriated by the  grant, fearing that the project was in jeopardy. A few days later the Erie Western PA Port Authority voted to provide an additional $220,000 to complete the project. They also revealed that they are planning other improvements to the Holland St. Pier including the addition of a nearly 1000 ft long sidewalk to parallel the water’s edge on the East side of the dock.

The SONS of Lake Erie, Friends of Fish Foundation and the General Electric Community Foundation also provided funds toward the project.

 

Holland Street Pier Dedication

The Erie Western Pennsylvania Port Authority held a dedication ceremony for the newly completed Holland St. Pier on Wednesday June 23rd at 1:00 pm. SONS Pres. Jerry Skrypzak and Vice President Ed Kissell and our board of directors were invited to participate. The President of the EWPPA, Dave Zimmer and the Executive Director of the EWPPA Brenda Sandberg as well as as other Port Authority members participated too. County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper as well some friends and family were also in attendance. After some preliminary speeches the cover of a plaque was removed. Mr. Zimmer read the inscription on the plaque and to our amazement the sign announced that the pier was dedicated to Jerry Skrypzak and Ed Kissell.

SONS Sponsor New Pavilion For Harborcreek Township  Community Park

For several years  the SONS of Lake Erie and the Wesleyville Conservation Club have partnered with Harborcreek Township’s recreation program by providing a hands on trout fishing experience for kids and their families. We started at Whitford Park and Six Mile Creek but due to high waters we moved the event to the pond at the Harborcreek Community Park. The area is wide open but did not offer shelter from inclement weather for the young anglers.

We voted to provide the funds to buy materials to build a picnic style shelter. The work was completed by Harborcreek maintenance personnel. The beautiful and well-built structure was completed in the early Fall of 2020 and was dedicated on Thursday May 6th, 2021.

 

SONS directors, Harborcreek Township Supervisors and maintenance team pose for picture at the pavilion dedication on May 6, 2021

Thank You "Friends of Fish Foundation"

For nearly 20 years in a row the Friends of Fish Foundation, a Philadelphia based philanthropic organization, made a significant contributions to the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie. Total contributions from this generous group over the those years have exceeded $200,000.00. Sadly the fund has been liquidated and  the balance in it has been distributed to other organizations like us. We are so grateful for their generous support.

Over the years we have used their generous donations to accomplish significant projects including land acquisition at Trout Run, a handicapped accessible ramp at the North Pier, fishing access at the Liberty Pier, hatchery up grades including up grades to  our electrical system and lighting and repairs to our water intake for the hatchery and last year we used it for an engineering study to build a fishing platform on the north end of the Holland St. pier which is now moving forward.  We are very grateful for their years of generosity and wish them success in their future endeavors. Our goal is to hold this last generous donation and apply it to a long lasting improvement to the Lake Erie fishery.

 

The Friends of Fish Foundation President, Bruce Garland, is an avid steelhead fisherman who travels all the way from Philadelphia to fish Lake Erie. He caught this 35 inch beauty while fishing on 20 Mile Creek in December of 2015.

S.O.N.S. Sponsored Presque Isle Clean Up April 20, 2019

The Annual Spring Clean-up at Presque Isle State Park took place on Saturday April 20th. For eight years in a row, the S.O.N.S. have co-sponsored the event along with the Presque Isle Partnership. We do so by organizing and serving lunch to the volunteers. This year due to inclement weather only about 100 volunteers participated. There were forty S.O.N.S. volunteers who prepared and served over 300 hot dogs and gallons of coffee and hot chocolate. We always have a great time doing this event.

The Co-vid pandemic prevented the event from happening in 2020 & 2021 but hopefully we can resume our sponsorship in 2022.

 

S.O.N.S. Annual Outreach Fish Fry 2019

On Wednesday September 4th 2019 at 9:00 AM thirty- four SONS volunteers gathered at the Bay Harbor East Marina facility in order to prepare for our 36th annual fish fry. 164 Guests came to the picnic. Walleye sandwiches and assorted salads were served to the guests. Over 90 lbs. were prepared by our expert fish fryers, Rich Smith, Bill Stewart, Jason Stewart, Ralph Friend and Rich Muse after each piece was meticulously gone over by or expert filet crew for bones. Each piece was dipped in a special beer batter mix that was prepared by Ralph Corvaglia and Bill Brown. The food was served buffet style by our serving team. The guests were asked to register at our welcoming table where they were invited to become or renew their SONS memberships. 94 of our guests signed up.

 Since its beginning, the fish fry has been our way to carry our message directly to those individuals that help us protect and grow our fishery. The individuals who are invited to the fish fry were partners, stakeholders, friends and those who have helped us achieve our goals throughout the year. They include state and municipal officials, agency members, educators and vendors. The picnic was held at the beautiful Bay Harbor East Marina thanks to its management who let us use the facility for the third year in a row. The weather was cool along the waterfront but still pleasant.  We owe a great vote of thanks to the fishermen who participated in the Erie Pennsylvania Sport Fishing Association’s Summer Slam tournament. Many of the tournament’s participants contributed fish as well as many of our members for this fish fry and a second one that we provided at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen on September 13th. (See the story in our October issue)

Thanks to the hard work from our volunteers especially Chuck Miller and Bob Zawadzki who handled the logistics to make the event a huge success. Our team is the greatest.

Below are some photos from the day:

 
 
 
 

 

In spite of pandemic restrictions. the SONS of Lake Erie was able to continue with providing a fish fry for some of our less fortunate citizens at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen in 2021. This has been a priority with us for the last 7 years. On Tuesday October 19, 2021 ten SONS volunteers prepared over 75 pounds of walleye fillets which were donated by generous anglers who participated in an August 14th fishing tournament that was sponsored by Poor Richards's Bait and Tackle shop and the East End Angler bait shop. The fillets were prepared by placing them in a beer batter and deep frying them. They were made into sandwiches, placed into box lunches and distributed to 195 individuals.

The S.O.N.S. Receive the Prophet of Peace Award

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie presented their 2015 Prophet of Peace Award to the S.O.N.S. of Lake for their extraordinary efforts to improve fishing on Lake Erie and its Pennsylvania tributaries. Their dedication to promoting the growth and health of the Lake Erie Fishery has resulted in a contribution that is both significant and far-reaching. Their work is indeed a pursuit of justice and peace that is rooted in reverence and respect for all of God’s creation  

“This award recognizes an individual or group that embodies some aspect of the community’s corporate commitment and its concerns for prophetic witness, peace and justice, sustainability, and the needs of women and children,” said Sister Anne Wambach, Prioress. “By their very example and their efforts, the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie stand before us as an example of what prophets do: call attention to central and pressing issues of their day.”  

The S.O.N.S. received the award at a special Evening Prayer held at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery on the feast of St. Scholastica with a reception following. President of the organization, Jerry Skrypzak, who accepted the award along with Vice President, Ed Kissell, expressed how honored the group was to be chosen: "Wow! I don’t think there are any words to express what I am feeling right now ... thank you for this great honor. It is our pleasure to accept it for doing something we love."