Let's Go Fishing group helps young and old reel in memories to keep

October 2011 News

Motorists who happened to drive past the west bay of Lake L'Homme Dieu last Friday morning may have thought the fish were really biting.

Eighteen pontoons were tooling around in same spot in the bay, within just a few feet of each other.

As it turns out, those in the pontoons were angling for something else - a chance to get together for a photo shoot and a leadership meeting for their organization, Let's Go Fishing.

The group, which has 28 chapters across the state, is celebrating its 10th anniversary of offering free fishing and boating trips for seniors, veterans, mentally challenged people and children.

The Alexandria lakes area chapter is in its fifth season and shows no signs of slowing down. It has more than 102 volunteers, who this past year alone, provided more than 1,500 people with a chance to enjoy fishing on local lakes.

"Our goal is to be the number one Let's Go Fishing chapter in the state of Minnesota," said Ron Fenelon of Alexandria.

The key to the group's growing success are the "great, great folks" who volunteer and the enthusiastic support from the community, Fenelon said. "This community is absolutely fabulous," he said.

Support for Let's Go Fishing has poured in from assisted living facilities, service groups, local businesses and individuals from throughout the area, Fenelon said.

Just one example: Cenex provides all the fuel the pontoons go through every summer. "What a phenomenal donation that is," Fenelon said.

One of the organization's proudest success stories is cooperating with the Department of Natural Resources to offer 6th graders an annual fishing outing at Lake Carlos State Park. This year, they treated more than 200 kids to a fun time catching and eating fish.

"That's the kind of thing we really enjoy doing," Fenelon said. "You should have seen the looks on some those kids' faces. For one little girl, it was her first time eating fish!"

Read more at http://www.echopress.com/event/article/id/88956/group/News/

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