2nd Annual Pay it Forward/WalleyeFest Wrap Up
60 wounded veterans attended this year’s Pay it Forward event August 20th-23rd 2015. They enjoyed a 2 day fishing extravaganza up at Lake of the Woods hosted by a handful of locals resorts including Border View Lodge, Rainy River Resort, Cyrus Resort, Bayview Resort, Wigwam Resort, Ballard’s Resort, Zippel Bay Resort, and Arnesen’s Rocky Point. 11 charters took these men and women out and it was a weekend to be cherished! Special guests Ron Schara and Terry Tuma as well as many other special guest hopped onto the boats with these heroes to enjoy a weekend away.
The veterans arrived in town Thursday evening, and after checking into their host resort, headed to to a welcome dinner hosted at Sportsman’s Lodge on the Rainy River. Veterans, volunteers, and special guests enjoyed the dinner while a speaker presented, then topped the night off by enjoying entertainment Bruce Neumann and Tiki D at the Sand Bar.
Friday morning started with breakfast then getting on a boat and headed towards the lake at 8 am for a full day of fishing. Boats were spread all over the lake some drifting and others down rigging, but all taking plenty of pictures. For lunch, the charter boats headed in to Zippel Bay State Park for a hamburger and hot dog shore lunch presented by the local Baudette VFW. The afternoon was perfect weather to finish off the day of fishing and put many more walleyes in the cooler before heading back to the docks. The guests enjoyed a night of relaxation and dinners and really just enjoying the view!
Saturday the crew headed right back out to the lake. Day 2 fishing proved successful for many by filling out limits and many picture worthy moments. The charters came in a little early due to weather, but that gave everyone enough time to freshen up before the big events of the evening. While the veterans were out fishing, WalleyeFest was hitting Baudette at the Lake of the Woods County Fairgrounds. A day full of a 5k/10k race, inflatables, entertainment and much more was held by the Baudette-Lake of the Woods Chamber of Commerce. This led to the Fish Fry dinner hosted by River Bend Resort that the public was able to sit and rub elbows with the men and women hosted by Pay it Forward. The American Legion Color Guard from Baudette posted the flags and then it was to dinner! A special announcement was made for the veterans with the biggest fish, a trophy even presented to the one with the biggest. Right off the all ladies boat at first place winner at 28″, 2nd place was a 27 3/4″ from the gentlemen, and 3rd place was one by the eldest veteran of 92 years. The evening then switched gears and everyone got to enjoy their evening out by listening to live band The Groove Merchants featuring 2014 Blues Preformer of the Year Jimi “Prime Time” Smith.
To learn more about this event, or to donate to next year’s event, check out payitforwardlow.org right here. Also check out some pictures from this years event!