Let’s Go Fishing keeps making it happen

Since 2002, the organization and its volunteers give back to seniors and others by hosting them on fishing and boating excursions on Green Lake


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Leo Breyer, far left, reacts to catching a sunfish as Let’s Go Fishing volunteer Ron Haugen, center, helps free the fish from the hook during a fishing trip on Green Lake on Tuesday, July 11, 2023. Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

SPICER — A group of military veterans with one goal in mind, that being to catch fish.

A women’s bible study group from Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar, who wanted to boat around Green Lake and see the sights.

A mixed group of new immigrants, including a few who had grown up in the desert and had never seen much less experienced big water.

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Ben Tjaden smiles after hooking a sunfish during a Let’s Go Fishing trip on Green Lake Tuesday, July 11, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

And mostly, senior citizens who light up with joy when they are on the water.

These are but a few snapshots of Rick Reimer’s time on the waters of Green Lake as the president of the Willmar chapter of Let’s Go Fishing . As it has since 2002, the local volunteers and their sponsors continue to carry on the mission of giving back to seniors and allowing others to enjoy the mental-health-boosting experience that being on the water offers.


Read the full story here…


It’s a Cake Auction – Join Us on November 4 from 10:00 – 2:00 pm!

September 25, 2017

Add November 4 (10:00 – 2:00 pm) at the Willmar Community Center to Your Calendar!

Wow! What a season. The Willmar Area Chapter of Let’s Go Fishing just wrapped up a record breaking season on the waters of Green Lake. Throughout the season our ridership registrations were up a whopping 102% over last year. We saw our group registrations soar from 35 last year to 73 this season, a 108% increase. It all started in May when we committed to taking 545 3rd and 4th graders from Atwater, New London-Spicer, Prinsburg and Willmar on fishing trips. With trips scheduled up until the end of September this year it will be our longest season ever on the water.

Since the founding of LGF in Willmar in 2002, our chapter has reached out and touched the lives of county residents and beyond over 21,000 times. Currently our primary outreach is to:

• Elementary school children.
• Youth from at-risk situations.
• Seniors from various living environments.
• Military veterans and their families, including disabled vets and surviving family of deceased veterans.
• The disabled from various walks of life.

Needless to say, this great increase in participation is very gratifying, but at the same time has put a great stress on our financial resources. To help alleviate this financial strain the chapter is holding its first Cake Auction (perhaps the first such event in the Willmar area). This fundraising event is patterned after the highly successful fundraising event of Young Life in Owatonna, MN, where the annual event has occurred for over 30 years.

Overview: This first time ever fund raising event is to benefit the ministry and mission of Let’s Go Fishing – Willmar Area Chapter. Since 2002, the Willmar chapter of LGF has initiated over 21,000 on the water fishing and boating experiences for area residents – elementary school children, youth, seniors, the disabled and military veterans – many even from outside the county or from other states. This past season (2017) was a record year for the chapter with over 2,000 people participating and a record number (73) groups registered.

Details: This event will be widely promoted throughout the county and beyond via social media, broadcast media, event calendars, etc. Both live and silent auctions will occur on site, with the live auction broadcast on radio and online. Each auction cake will be a “work of art” to entice the bidder and may include a “special offer” to enhance the bidding.

Why Businesses and Organizations Should Participate: This is an excellent opportunity to promote your business, organization, church, etc. and show your support of LGF at very little expense for you. Your cost comes down to cake ingredients or the cost of someone making the cake for you. Be creative and promote your business, organization, favorite sport or activity, etc. and enhance your cake with other items that coincide with your cake theme. If you need ideas, call the LGF office (320-409-1132).

How You Can Participate:

1. Provide an “Auction Cake” and “Special”. Bake or have someone bake a special (unique or fancy) cake. This could be a “theme” cake promoting your business, organization or LGF. Add an enticing “special” with it to enhance the bidding price (optional).
2. Provide a “Sale Cake or Baked Good”. This could be a nice cake or other baked goods (pie, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, etc.) for outright sale. We suggest atypical bake sale items. For example: Fancy holiday cupcakes, jumbo holiday cookies, jumbo muffins, etc. Keep in mind, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be coming up and people will be looking for something special to put in the freezer for their family gatherings.
3. Provide a “Silent Auction Basket”. Baskets can be used to promote your business, be centered around sporting events; entertainment packages; getaway packages; Twin City attractions; Branson or other fun packages; holiday or vacation packages; Chicago or Vegas getaways; Mom or Dad packages; family packages; seasonal getaways, etc.
4. Provide a “Specialty Item for Live Auction”. This item could be included with an auction cake or be a stand-alone for a live auction. Items should be valued at $100 or more and could include such items as electronics, electric tools, major sporting events, theatrical shows, cabin stays, BBQ grills, sporting equipment, etc.
5. Bid on Cakes. Get great exposure for your business, organization, church, et al by bidding on cakes throughout the day or encourage your employees or members to pool funds to buy a cake and hold a drawing for the specialty item.
6. Be a Premier Sponsor. Receive signage at the site of the auction, be mentioned on the live broadcast and be featured in a large ad in the West Central Tribune acknowledging Premier Sponsors, Auction Cake Bakers, Sale Cake Bakers, Silent Auction Baskest and Specialty Item providers. Levels: Sunfish, $250; Walleye, $500; Muskie, $750. Contact LGF at 320-409-1132 for more details.


Let’s Go Fishing starts the season

SPICER, Tom Cherveny— Let’s Go Fishing launched its 15th season in a big way this week, and appropriately so.

The Willmar chapter has already seen a 41 percent bump in registrations from last year, and it is usually in the next couple of weeks when most of the registration calls will come in, according to Jim Gauss, president of the Willmar chapter. “We’re getting calls from all over the place,” he said.

The calls are welcome, as the chapter is ready for a big year. It has a good group of both new and returning volunteers on deck for the season, although new help is always welcome, he said.

The volunteers launched the season Monday and Tuesday by hosting approximately 300 elementary students from the Willmar Public Schools on Green Lake. Three pontoons made a total of 18 trips to give the young students from Kennedy Elementary an opportunity to enjoy time on the water. Read the full story here at www.wctrib.com

New crew on board to launch the Willmar Let’s Go Fishing 2016 season

WILLMAR by Tom Cherveny— As Twins fans know all too well, picking the right roster can mean everything.

Joe Holm believes he has the winning combination for the Willmar chapter of Let’s Go Fishing, which is launching its new season Monday.

Holm, director of the statewide organization that provides fishing and boating excursions, said the local chapter has been able to seat a new board and will get its 2016 season underway in full stride and right on time. Local volunteers will begin taking the first of an expected 500 students from the Willmar and New London-Spicer Schools on the waters of Green Lake in the coming two weeks.

Community support made it possible to recruit a new board and get things underway in a timely manner, according to Holm. Read the full story at www.wctrib.com

Let’s Go Fishing Launches New Partnership Program

SPICER – Linda Dilley knows how to make life fun for the residents of Bethesda Pleasant View in Willmar, where she is the activities assistant.

But she will admit that residents enjoy some of their best times outside the comfort of their Pleasant View home. By all measures, one of their favorite activities is Let’s Go Fishing outings on the waters of Green Lake. The excitement and good vibes continue when they return and tell others of their adventures, according to Dilley.

She will admit this, too. “Sometimes I’m just as giddy when I take them out and see the joy on their faces,’’ said Dilley. “To me,’’ she said of Let’s Go Fishing, “it’s the best organization around.’’

Let’s Go Fishing will continue to get around and touch lives on the water in more places than ever as it enters its 15th year, according to Joe Holm, its founder and executive director. Holm said the Spicer-based, nonprofit has continued to see steady growth since its start.

Last year it helped touch the lives of over 25,000 people. Its 26 chapters in Minnesota and western Wisconsin are aiming to host 30,000 in the coming year.

Some 2,240 volunteers make it possible, said Holm.

Making sure that Let’s Go Fishing remains the best thing around for those it serves well into the future is very much on Holm’s mind these days.

Read the full story at here at www.wctrib.com

Willmar Chapter Volunteer Round-up April 12 & 13

Let’s Go Fishing is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals through fishing an boating excursions that strengthen communities, build relationships and create memories. LGF has served over 150,00 participants since its founding in 2002.

A strong volunteer base is the core strength of LGF. Volunteers contribute time and expertise to help create memories for program participants. All LGF volunteers are well-trained individuals who have a passion for fishing and boating and a caring heart for the people they serve. They have a desire to share the outdoor experience with others and to create a community that cares for all its citizens.

We believe in the power of volunteerism to benefit the lives of others and transform communities. Giving back to others serves our guests and enriches the lives of those sharing their skills, experience and time.

Come and join us for an informational volunteer meeting for Willmar Area Chapter on April 12 & 13 at 6:00pm at the Willmar Conference Center. For more information, call our Home Office at 320.796.5555.

Thank you to all our Partners for 2016

Let’s Go Fishing liberates people from isolation, loneliness and depression – by giving them boating day trips, and sometimes even fish to catch!  Healthier and happier people are the result. LGF is now inviting selected senior-serving organizations to become Sponsoring Service Partners in providing the life-affirming and health-giving LGF experience for the 2016 year.

As a Sponsoring Service Partner, your organization will provide a sliding-scale fee (based on the number of persons you serve) for the use of LGF’s brand name in your promotional and related materials (brochures, website, etc.), as well as other benefits.  Please note that paying the SSP fee is required in order for your organization to gain unlimited use of the LGF brand in your promotional/marketing and similar materials

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