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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Missouri in September

I love September in Missouri! Not only is it the beginning of fantastic color and cooler days, it's also a month of conferences for me.

Next week, we'll visit Columbia, Missouri, for the Missouri Outdoor Communicators Conference. I'm looking forward to spending some time on the Katy Trail, visiting the MU campus, sampling some well-known restaurants including Shakespeare's Pizza, seeing other outdoor writers and learning something new.

My fingers itch for my camera just thinking about the opportunities I'll have. A high point of the conference will be a photography workshop by well-known outdoor photographer, Ron Kruger. I plan to soak up some pointers.

A couple of my pre-conference photos will have to do for now. Did I mention I love Missouri?

Last year's conference was in Hannibal and we had a marvelous time. Among other activities, we fished on Mark Twain Lake, ate at some enjoyable restaurants and visited Clemens Field (you guessed it, so named for Mark Twain). During WWII, the field served as a prisoner-of-war camp and today is host to a collegiate league team.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lake of the Woods "Pay It Forward" Event for Veterans at Walleye Fest

I want to share this press release. Many communities, outdoor associations and businesses actively support our veterans. Thank you, Lake of the Woods, for hosting this event. I love the smile on this veteran's face. 

Photo courtesy of Lake of the Woods MN press release

Baudette, MN  (August 26, 2014)  More than 45 injured veterans spent the weekend at Lake of the Woods as the first annual “Pay It Forward” event took place at Border View Lodge and Rainy River Resort.  This three night, two day fishing extravaganza had veterans, celebrities and many volunteers enjoying the world class fishing on charter boats.

Veterans with a variety of physical and mental disabilities enjoyed catching good numbers of walleyes and saugers, with some pike, bass and perch mixed in.  Many anglers caught their personal best walleye.  For others, it was their first walleye.

“We feel so honored to have had these men and women from the military join us for the weekend.  These folks have sacrificed so much, both physically and mentally.  Their sacrifices allow us to enjoy the freedoms we have today.  They certainly deserved the red carpet treatment they received.  We take so much for granted.  We are so grateful.” explains Joe Henry, Executive Director of Tourism for Lake of the Woods MN.

Some well know celebrities participated in the event, including Ron Schara, “Tackle” Terry Tuma, Jim Zumbo and former MN Viking, “Benchwarmer” Bob Lurtsema.  “Our special guests were very accommodating and really added a lot to the experience for the veterans.” explains Henry.  “Ron Schara actually was up on stage singing with the band.  Bob Lurtsema told the group about dumping water on former announcer Howard Cosell and watching his toupee slide back.  Our celebrity guests were wonderful.”

“One important element that really makes an event like this successful is the community working together.  We so appreciate the City of Baudette, Whitetails Unlimited, the VFW, the American Legion, Border View Lodge, Rainy River Resort, Fishing For Life, Midwest Outdoors Unlimited and everyone else who donated or volunteered for this event.  The teamwork was excellent.”

The organizers of “Pay It Forward” plan on having a second annual event in 2015.  If you are interested in participating, being a sponsor, donating to the event or being a volunteer,  contact Joe Henry at or at(218) 634-1174.

For more info on “Pay It Forward” or WalleyeFest, go to (218) 634-1174.