New York Fishing Tournament Reels in $145,000 for CF

August 13, 2007

On July 11, the NFTA Boat Harbor in Buffalo transformed from its usual boat docking station to an elegant party under the stars. Tunes from the Lakeside Blues Band drifted through the evening air as guests mingled on the dock. All were there to enjoy the Western New York Chapter’s 6th annual Greater Niagara BassEye Celebrity Challenge.

Greater Niagara BassEye Celeb
James Zaepfel, Captain Chris Cincelli, Ron George and Greg Zaepfel were named the 2007 Grand Champion Team.
From boats to bait and beer, the fishing tournament’s kick-off dinner had a little bit of everything. After dining on local cuisine and finely brewed domestic and international beers, guests took part in a traditional oyster dig. The winning digger took home a beautiful pearl necklace.

Others had a chance to win great prizes, including an autographed Buffalo Sabres team poster and specialty canolis, during the live and silent auction. Another highlight of the evening was the compelling speech made by Nicole Ellis, who spoke about her life with CF.

One evening by the water, however, wasn’t enough to satisfy the most avid seafarer. The next morning, 200 anglers and captain filled more than 40 boats to compete for the best catch. Angler Greg Zaepfel, captained by Chris Cinelli sailed away with the 2007 Grand Champion Angler honor, while the team of Zaepfel, Jim Zaepfel, Ron George and captain Cinelli won the Grand Champion Team award.

After a day of fishing, participants another dinner at the docks—complete with cocktails and prizes. “In the past six years, we have raised over $670,000 to help find a cure for CF,” said Bob Rich, Jr., who co-chaired the tournament with his wife Mindy. “The Western New York community has been so generous to this cause, and we would like to thank them, our sponsors and the local fishing community for their continued support.” Under the Riches’ leadership, the event raised more than $145,000.

Special thanks go to corporate sponsors Rich Products, Robert-James Sales, Bass Pro, Business First, Channel 7, Regents Broadcasting, American Airlines and Buffalo Bisons, as well as volunteers Jon Dandes, Manny Lezama, Mike Powers, Greg Zaepfel, Beth Clune, Bill Keller, Jim Hanley, Frank Campbell, Mark Kessler, Jim Deuschle, Lisa Texido, Ron Luczak, Jean Covelli, Julie Gicewicz, Spencer Schofield, Jeff Parish, Jeffrey Gutekunst, Linda Pellegrino, Travers Collins & Company, Associates of Rich Products and Redbone, Inc.