Williams Nudges Aside Coterra?
External Affairs Coordinator, Coterra Energy
[Editor’s Note: Fish for the Fallen provides recreation and retreats for veterans and first responders who live with PTSD and other injuries. Williams and Coterra support it.]
Patriots Cove staff and volunteers near Noxen in Wyoming County continued their Memorial Day Weekend tradition of hosting the annual Fish For the Fallen tournament on May 26. Seven teams of two anglers cast their lines into Beaver Run in memory of military personnel, first responders who had been killed in action serving their country and communities, and a Marine Corps veteran and long-time Patriots Cove volunteer who passed away since last year’s event.
Patriots Cove provides recreational opportunities and retreats for veterans and first responders who live with PTSD and other injuries and for their families. Lodging, meeting and office space, flower beds, and miles of trails result from thousands of volunteer hours by individuals and those representing companies and corporations like Coterra Energy. We’ve been a big advocate of Fish For the Fallen each year, providing monetary support that helps with Patriots Cove’s operating costs and sending employees to participate in the tournament.
This year, Chad Gorman of GasSearch Drilling Services – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coterra – and Ed Kozlowski of Kozlowski Oilfield Services fished as Team Coterra, moving down the shoreline of Beaver Run through five stations – or beats – along with mentor and guide Chad Johnson.
Johnson works for Williams Companies, one of our biggest industry partners, which was also represented by a team comprised of Aaron Rockwell and Mark Ivey and led by guide Brad Zeiders of Duncanville.
The participants are no strangers to each other, having fished and worked together in various combinations over the years. Weather conditions have also varied, but the anglers were greeted this year with brilliant sunshine on a crisp morning. “You can’t ask for a better day than this,” Gorman remarked. Their biggest challenge was low water from a lack of recent rains. As midday approached, Johnson suggested to the men that they switch from flies to nymphs, as the trout would naturally be looking for them at that time.
At lunchtime, local civic leaders and a color guard contingent conducted a ceremony to remember those who had passed away and to share the significance of Patriots Cove. Elected officials and families who had become familiar with the venue over time were among those in the audience. The day’s winners were also announced, with Team Williams pulling ahead of Team Coterra, which has won in previous years.
Participants maintain that the friendships and the opportunity to spend the day along the peaceful stream are much more gratifying than the competition itself.
After Williams and Coterra in the top two spots, the winners were Fehlinger Construction, The Lutz family, Quality Collision, The Ruark Foundation, and Earth Armor.
“The real rewards are not the prizes, but the veterans and first responders who are helped by this event,” Chad Groman stated. “I have developed camaraderie with many of the volunteers and fellow sponsors and look forward to spending the day laughing, telling stories, and being out in nature to support an amazing cause.”
Retired 24-year Army veteran Jeff Swire purchased the 18-acre site about six years ago and founded Patriots Cove with his wife, Melissa. He expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support from the sponsoring companies, whose regular monetary donations help Patriots Cove continue to expand. Swire was happy to announce that ten additional acres and another bridge would soon be added to tie together new amenities like a six-bed ADA-compliant bunkhouse for mentors and a Caregiver Center constructed last year.
“We’re always growing in a responsible way,” said Swire. To learn more about Patriots Cove, follow them on Facebook or log on to PatriotsCove.org.