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Let's Go Fishing not letting virus sink its season

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing Let's Go Fishing of Willmar to cancel its spring fundraiser and delay its launch of the 2020 season. The volunteers still remain committed to hosting seniors on the water this summer, and are looking for public support to continue the good work

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Let's Go Fishing of Willmar isn't going to let the COVID-19 pandemic sink its season, but it is canceling its spring fundraiser and the May trips for local students. Volunteers and students from the Prairie Woods Elementary School are shown on Green Lake in this Tribune file photo from May 2018. Tom Cherveny / West Central Tribune file photo

WILLMAR — Let’s Go Fishing Willmar has no intentions of letting the coronavirus COVID-19 sink it’s 2020 season, but it will be delaying its launching date this year.

Rick Reimer, chapter president, said Let’s Go Fishing is postponing its annual spring fundraising event as well as the season’s launch due to the pandemic. The local chapter is hoping it can get its pontoons on the water for the first outings on Monday, June 1.

Until then, the organization is also hoping the public and the group's many sponsors will continue to step up and help make sure the organization can continue to serve the area.

It costs about $15,000 to operate the local program each year, according to Steve Wilson, board secretary for Let’s Go Fishing. Absent the fundraiser, he and members are hoping supporters will consider contributions and that sponsors will come on board to make the 2020 season possible.

Even with a late start, the organization incurs expenses for the storage of the pontoons and materials, as well as everything from insurance to office materials. Those costs are there no matter, noted Reimer.

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Wilson pointed out that Let’s Go Fishing is run entirely by volunteers. No one takes a salary.

The organization continues to welcome everyone who would like to assist it. The call is always out for help. Joining the outings as a volunteer and helping others is very rewarding, according to organizers.

The late start means Let’s Go Fishing will not be able to bring school groups on the water, which has become a May tradition. Last year it hosted approximately 550 young people from area schools.

The goal remains to host senior citizens and others on the water this summer. Reimer said the organization will be working with area nursing homes on how the outings can be accomplished while maintaining health safeguards.

The organization impacts the lives of many. Last season, the local volunteers hosted more than 1,800 people on nearly 200 outings.

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