A recent Cabot Clay Shoot in Susquehanna County demonstrates the power of the natural gas industry to support community development where it works.
Friday was a classic late September day in the Keystone State. The sun was warm but the air was cool driving along a back road just starting to get covered by the early signs of Fall. Tucked away amongst the woods on another back road is the aptly named Hausmann’s Hidden Hollow Sporting Clays. It is quite discrete and secluded in the Susquehanna County countryside, but if you were close enough to it on Friday you would have heard the sound of money (in the form of gunfire) being raised for the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum and Natural Gas as Cabot Oil and Gas held its annual Fall Classic Sporting Clay tournament.
Cabot has held this hugely popular event for several years now and it has benefited a variety of local organizations. The latest tourney was the second year that it was held as a fundraiser for Lackawanna College, and it has already grown yet again.
“Last year we raised approximately $150,000 from a pool of around 270 shooters,” Cabot External Affairs Director George Stark said. “This year we have about 370 shooters.”
The tournament consisted of teams of five across three courses, with accolades being awarded to the top teams and top male and female individual shooters.
“These clay shoots pull the people of the industry and local future workforce together,” Stark said. “There are many student and faculty volunteers here today and this event, in addition to raising funds, serves as a networking opportunity for members of the school to meet with possible employers.”
“It also connects the companies with school officials as an opportunity for the companies to help the school besides hiring their graduates. Equipment donation is a huge part of the School of Petroleum and Natural Gas to enhance the hands-on learning aspect.”
The school’s Program Director Jeannine Barrett echoed Stark’s comments and thanked Cabot and the gas industry for its support as it continues to grow its natural gas program. The college had 55 students participating as volunteers in the event.
“The tournament serves as a direct connection to students and the companies,” she said. “We’re very thankful for their support and giving our students hands-on experience whether its in the form of being here in the field or equipment donations or internships; whatever they need to make careers out of the industry.”
State Representative Sandra Major also attended the event and commended the partnership between the industry and local colleges.
“I’m proud to support the industry and energy,” she said. “Lackawanna College saw an opportunity to develop a local workforce and local careers and they have worked hard to build that. We’ve seen what these partnerships and also the impact fee has done for our communities and that is why I support that. It’s disappointing that we have a governor and administration that wants to impose a severance tax, but for me a severance tax is off the table.”
Following the tournament, lunch was served and raffle prizes were awarded before the tournament winners were announced. With the ever-growing popularity of the shoot, plans are already in the works for next year to continue to develop local partnerships.
“This is something we definitely want to keep doing in the future,” Stark said. “This year was another step in its growth as we gained several new sponsors who will be sure to hire students from Lackawanna College in the future. It’s a fun event that pulls people together for fellowship and networking opportunities for the companies and local communities.”