YHEC remembers Lenny G. Young III

PHOTO PROVIDED Leonard and Kathy Young present checks to the 2018 Lenny Young Memorial Award winners. Left, Kathy presents Sugar Valley graduate Jacob Jeffries with a $1,000 check, and right, Leonard presents Central Mountain graduate Zach Williamson with a $1,000 check.

LOGANTON — Clinton County’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge was created to engage children 12 to 18 years old.

The mission is to encourage young people to gain an understanding of firearms, practice marksmanship and, above all else, learn how to have a safe experience.

Just ask Leonard Young Jr.

Young and his son, Lenny III, always looked forward to attending YHEC events, spending cherished time together in a sport they loved.

That was until Lenny’s young life was cut short.

PHOTO PROVIDED Leonard Young Jr. and his son, Lenny, smile for a photograph as they appear at one of the many YHEC events they attended over the years.

Lenny was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 2016.

Since his passing, Lenny’s father has remained involved with YHEC.

And, he created a competition in his son’s honor.

Recently, the second annual “Lenny G. Young, III Memorial Shotgun Shoot” was held at the Southern Clinton County Sportsmen’s Club in Loganton.

“People come from all over to support us and keep Lenny’s memory alive,” Leonard said.

Tanner Bierly, third from the left, poses with some friends following the competiton. Tanner helped organize the shotgun shoot in memory of his friend Lenny for his senior project.

“Folks from Pine Grove, Troy and all over the state make the trip to compete and support YHEC,” he continued.

This year, Lenny’s dad had some help planning and executing the event.

Tanner Bierly, a senior at Central Mountain High School, chose the shoot as his senior project.

He and Lenny were good friends and fellow YHEC members.

Lenny, in fact, became an accomplished sportsman before he passed at the age of 19. At age 16, he took first overall at states and was among the top five individuals from the senior division in Pennsylvania at YHEC International competition. All kids who are part of YHEC must participate in rifle, archery, muzzleloader shooting, along with wildlife identification, firearm safety and hunter ethics.

Current Central Mountain High School student, Katie Burrows, left, poses with recent CMHS graduates, including McCartney Register (2017), center, and Annie Bechdel (2018). Both Katie and McCartney are members of YHEC and Annie is a past member.

Tanner organized promotion of the event through local media, created flyers, and recruited volunteers.

“I’m very proud of the work he’s done on the event and that he chose this for his senior project,” said Tanner’s mom, Crystal Snook.

Ms. Snook and other YHEC parents worked in the kitchen, organized the raffle drawing, and kept the event on task.

Since its creation, the Lenny G. Young III Memorial Shotgun Shoot has raised money for an annual award given to a senior in Clinton County who has been a member of YHEC for at least two years and plans on furthering his or her education upon graduation.

The Keystone Central Foundation manages the award for the Young family.

This year, the event raised $4,362.

The 2018 recipients of the “Lenny G. Young Memorial Award” were Central Mountain graduate Zach Williamson and Sugar Valley Rural Charter School graduate Jacob Jeffries.

Both students were awarded a $1,000 check to continue their education.

Zach is attending Pennsylvania College of Technology; Jacob has begun classes at Penn State University’s Mount Alto campus.

Leonard Young, Jr. has remained strong in the face of losing his son.

He continues to be involved in YHEC and has created a way to reward members of the group through the heartbreak that no parent wants to experience. He made sure to thank the Southern Clinton County Sportsmen’s Club for help in hosting the shoot.

He also wanted to thank Brian Bruner for donating the pig, all the YHEC kids for participating, and Tanner for his time and hard work in getting the event organized.

“I want to thank everyone who is involved, participates and donates” he said.

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