ONEIDA — Holy Cross Academy hosted its 14th annual Central New York Sportsman Show at Kallet Civic Center throughout the day on Saturday. The event helped raise funds for the school and also helped several outdoors-themed businesses sell goods and promote their business.
Holy Cross is a catholic school for students in grades seven through 12 located on Barrington Hill Road in Vernon. The school may be reached at 315-363-1669 and its website is www.holycrossacademy.com.
“We are part of the Oneida diocese but we do not receive funding from the diocese,” Holy Cross Principal Teri Maciag said. “This event is one of many we host to raise funds for our school.”
The show attracts 1,500 people each year and raises approximately $10,000, Maciag said. Other fundraising programs include a flower show at Sangertown Mall, New Hartford, in May.
Maciag said the event is partly inspired by her husband, an avid hunter, and her seven sons. This sentiment is reflected in the business owners and patrons who have instilled the love of the outdoors — fishing, hunting, archery, kayaking — in their children.
“My sons are too young to hunt, but they help me out when I go. They’ll be into it some day,” fishing gear salesman Todd Payne said.
Payne’s sons, Brayden and Gauge, joined him to promote his business and to enjoy the other aspects of the outdoors shared by other vendors.
The show hosted a number of archery, fishing, hunting, and civic groups. It included Dan Chase, known professionally as Dan the Snakeman, a snake and reptile educator and entertainer form Marathon. His display included Elvis the alligator, Faith the Gaboon viper, Oliver the blue-tongued Skink, and Boo, the Albino Burmese python.
“I like snakes, but it’s too and that they don’t feel emotions for their owners,” Eva, a middle-school student from Auburn, said after handling Boo. “It’s a little bit creepy. It’s like they don’t have souls.”
New Beginnings Church in Wampsville showed concern for people’s souls through their Outdoor Adventures Ministry outreach. The program includes archery, hiking, biking, and canoing events. More information is available www.facebook.com/pages/Outdoor-Adventures-Ministry.
The ministry was one of several displays designed to promote outdoor fun.
“I definitely want to hunt someday,” Brayden Payne said.