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Anglers raise big money for causes

The Minnesota Fishing Challenge is one of the largest fundraisers supporting the work of Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge, helping people break free from the chains of addiction and restoring broken families.

Top fundraisers Stu Nelson and Rich Brummer of Cloquet are passionate about restoring the lives of people who feel enslaved by drugs and alcohol, and brought in $102,000. In all, 14 of the teams raised at least $10,000. Anglers set another annual record by raising more than $611,000. The cumulative amount generated via this family-friendly tournament since 2008 exceeds $5 million.

June 1 brought beautiful weather and good fishing conditions. The 120 two-person teams fishing the 16th annual Minnesota Fishing Challenge brought plenty of fish to the scale, to the delight of several hundred onlookers, including a first-place trophy for Ryan Schwieters and Becca Schreurs of Brainerd, with 17.48 pounds for their best three fish, one a 7.43-pound walleye.

Prizes including guided fishing trips, rods, reels, electronics, trolling motors, tackle and other gear. Each team that raised at least $500 was entered into a drawing for a new outfitted Lund boat.

The faith-based Teen Challenge program has 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. MNTC has recently expanded to Alexandria, Mankato and a new women's campus in Brainerd.

• The 29th annual Kolar Toyota ALS Fishing Tournament was also held last weekend, raising more than $287,000 as 108 two-person teams fished on Island Lake north of Duluth.

In the musky category, new participant Johnston Westmoreland of Moose Lake came in with the top catch, a 35-incher.

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