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Cloquet duo raises big bucks for MN Adult & Teen Challenge


June 14, 2019

When you combine fishing, faith, and a passion to free those trapped in addictions, amazing things can happen. Leading up to this year’s Minnesota Fishing Challenge, anglers raised more than $341,000 to support Mn Adult & Teen Challenge drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs statewide. The cumulative amount generated via this family-friendly tournament since 2009 exceeds $2.2 million.

Two Cloquet men, Stu Nelson and Rich Brummer, set a stout record this year with the most-ever raised by a team. They are passionate about restoring lives of drug and alcohol addicts and their hard work brought in more than $151,000. Eleven of the teams raised at least $5,000 to support the great work done by MnTC.

Sunny spring weather made for an enjoyable day of fishing, and hundreds of fish were weighed and released. The event was composed of 150 two-person teams in the main division, and 100 pairs of high school anglers in the Student Angler bass division. The 500 anglers fishing the 11th annual Minnesota Fishing Challenge — a multi-species, fundraising fishing tournament — on June 1 found friendly waters on the Gull Lake chain of lakes near Brainerd, and nearly every team caught fish.

“We consider this tournament to be friendly competition, with the emphasis on ‘friendly,’” said tournament director Bernie Barringer. “From professional anglers and fishing celebrities to youth and seniors, those fishing this event are focused on fun and raising important funds for an amazing cause: saving the lives of people trapped in chemical addiction. We are seeing amazing things happen and restoring broken families.”

Tournament host Al Lindner observed, “The fishing was really good for all species.”

He went on, “I want to personally thank the participants and the entire community for helping make this event a huge success and for their continued support of the lives that are impacted by Teen Challenge.”

Prizes including Canadian fishing trips and guided fishing trips, plus rods, reels, electronics, trolling motors, quality tackle and gear in the amount of $100,000 were awarded Friday and Saturday.

The Beaudry Oil & Propane “Ugliest Fish” award went to young brothers Jediah and Jaret Soxman, who brought in a homely dogfish, each kissing the fish on the stage to the delight of the crowd of 700 onlookers.

Additionally, each team that raised at least $500 was entered into a drawing for a new Lund boat powered by Mercury and outfitted with Humminbird and Minn Kota electronics. Cloquet’s Nelson and Brummer won the $20,000 rig.

The faith-based MnTC offers a high long-term success rate for addiction recovery. The money raised in this event allows the program to accept addicts regardless of their ability to pay. The next fundraising tournament event will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2020.


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