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Let's Go Fishing completes most successful year

Ten years ago, the Let's Go Fishing (LGF) organization was launched with once a week fishing excursions for two or three senior citizens.

Ten years later, in 2011, the organization served over 18,000 people who fished with the 28 chapters that serve communities across Minnesota, including ours here in Detroit Lakes!

This remarkable success story is about a non-profit organization with volunteer support to take people fishing and boating. Let's Go Fishing's mission is to enrich the lives of others and strengthen communities through fishing and boating excursions. This simple, yet powerful mission has made a lasting impact on thousands of senior citizens many of whom realize their days on the water would more than likely be over without the organization. Moving stories of seniors enjoying the fellowship of others on the water and having a renewed sense of hope because of Let's Go Fishing are heard across Minnesota every year.

Let's Go Fishing's successes can greatly be attributed to the organization's large, caring, committed volunteer base who work together across the state to serve people. An approximate 2,200 statewide volunteers serve in various roles enabling the local chapters to fish on a regular basis. Many chapters are on the water five days a week, some offering multiple trips in a day, and some have two pontoon boats! A remarkable number of people (around 70,000 to date) have been served through the outstanding efforts of this volunteer group the last ten years. Let's Go Fishing's home office in Willmar, and thousands of seniors across Minnesota are most appreciative of the thousands and thousands of volunteer hours donated to Let's Go Fishing every year!

Senior citizens across Minnesota enjoy Let's Go Fishing trips annually. Realizing a need to get kids involved in a healthy, lifelong activity like fishing, the organization has now expanded to offer an Intergenerational and Youth Program. This program has a kids fishing education curriculum along with on-the-water fishing trips.

Some of these trips are "intergenerational" trips in which kids are paired with seniors in a unique mentoring situation in which kids fish, but more importantly are exposed to life lessons shared by seniors and other adults during the fishing day.

As you can see, Let's Go Fishing truly does remarkable work. The statewide network of volunteers, including those here in Detroit Lakes, work very hard in carrying out this important mission.

With the end of the year and the holiday season in hand, Let's Go Fishing would like to take this chance to thank our volunteers here in Detroit Lakes and those across the state. The organization also is very appreciative of the communities we serve and their support of seniors, kids, and Let's Go Fishing.

Working together we truly are accomplishing great things. Thanks again to our volunteers and their communities for all they do in serving people.