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Let’s Go Fishing volunteers feel the joy of giving

BRAINERD — Imagine volunteering for an organization where every outing leaves memories for the participants and also the volunteers that can be life-changing.

Let’s Go Fishing is one of those organizations. To be passionate about the mission is an understatement for volunteers Captain Ron Plinske, Loree Besser and longtime First Mate Steve Oslos.

A recent trip from 2023 was especially rewarding for volunteer Plinske. He was on a boat trip for veterans of the Afghan war who were gathered at Cragun’s Resort for a Reuniting After War group. According to Plinske, the trip was so rewarding, it changed his life. He spent the day bobber fishing in the bay with this group of veterans and they experienced the joys of being together just enjoying the day on the water and each other.

Read the Full Story here… Brainerd Dispatch

The Importance of Memorials

Loren Pumper

What are memorials and why are they important?  While flowers and casseroles are appreciated, one of the most lasting ways to honor a loved one is through a memorial gift to carry on their legacy. It provides a way to keep a place at the table for our loved ones as we go forward in our daily lives.

On Friday, September 9th, the Pumper family honored the amazing legacy of Loren Pumper at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club attended by over 230 people. Loren was an exceptional father, friend and member of the New Prague community, outdoorsman and an avid fan of Minnesota sports at all levels. The Pumper family chose Let’s Go Fishing Minnesota as the beneficiary of choice given its mission and stellar reputation in providing services to adults, children, veterans, and individuals with disabilities, and the organization so reflects Loren’s interests.

Through the generosity of friends and family, Let’s Go Fishing will already be able to provide 20 boat outings on Minnesota/Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers.  We are also told that more donations will be coming in. If you would still like to honor Loren, please click on: and mention Loren Pumper.

Non-profit organizations depend on all kinds of donations to promote their programs and reach their goals.  Let’s Go Fishing is no exception. We pride ourselves on building the communities we serve, while providing a safe and enjoyable outdoor activity utilizing our natural resources. From our volunteers to our clients and staff that handle their care, we are just grateful — THANK YOU.

Enjoying the outdoors and our beautiful lakes can also be therapeutic. Many see a measurable improvement in their health and well-being, especially those struggling with health issues. Because Loren so enjoyed fishing, the outdoors and being a good community member, Let’s Go Fishing became the perfect way to memorialize him. We say “thank you” for thinking of Let’s Go Fishing and we will pay this kind gesture forward.

Let’s Go Fishing keeps making it happen

Since 2002, the organization and its volunteers give back to seniors and others by hosting them on fishing and boating excursions on Green Lake


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Leo Breyer, far left, reacts to catching a sunfish as Let’s Go Fishing volunteer Ron Haugen, center, helps free the fish from the hook during a fishing trip on Green Lake on Tuesday, July 11, 2023. Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

SPICER — A group of military veterans with one goal in mind, that being to catch fish.

A women’s bible study group from Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar, who wanted to boat around Green Lake and see the sights.

A mixed group of new immigrants, including a few who had grown up in the desert and had never seen much less experienced big water.

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Ben Tjaden smiles after hooking a sunfish during a Let’s Go Fishing trip on Green Lake Tuesday, July 11, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

And mostly, senior citizens who light up with joy when they are on the water.

These are but a few snapshots of Rick Reimer’s time on the waters of Green Lake as the president of the Willmar chapter of Let’s Go Fishing . As it has since 2002, the local volunteers and their sponsors continue to carry on the mission of giving back to seniors and allowing others to enjoy the mental-health-boosting experience that being on the water offers.


Read the full story here…




A Psychotherapist Explains Why Connection To Nature Is Essential For Mental Health

If you feel more relaxed and recharged after a day at the beach or a hike in the mountains, there is a psychological reason for that. Interacting with the natural world is good not only for our bodies but for our minds and spirits too.

What ecopsychology teaches us about why we need regular interaction with the natural world.

What we know intuitively—that interacting with the great outdoors is good for us—is now supported by a robust body of research that provides evidence that contact with nature lowers stress, reduces ruminations, and lessens anxiousness. Interacting with nature also fosters creativity, produces states of calm, restores attention fatigue, and can affect pro-social and pro-environmental behaviors.

One of the areas of psychology that has contributed to our understanding of the impacts of direct contact with nature is ecopsychology. This field of study focuses on understanding the human-nature relationship. A core assumption of ecopsychology is that the outer world and our inner world are intimately connected. After all, we are nature! Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we need regular interaction with the natural world in order to thrive as individuals and as a species.  Read the full story here…

Let’s Go Fishing Launches it’s 20th Season

SPICER — Let’s Go Fishing volunteer Glen Lotthammer piloted our pontoon boat within casting distance of a dock in the belief that a fish or two might be lurking in its shade.LetsGoFishing2022

This was last Monday, and Lotthammer and his volunteer deckhands were joined on Green Lake by seven fourth-grade students from the Willmar Public Schools.

With a few deft casts, student Braylon Burwell managed to drop his slip bobber and leech rig right at the dock’s edge and BAM, down went the bobber.

Burwell soon pulled in a hefty, largemouth bass, gave it a kiss and came home with all of the bragging rights. He caught the biggest, and only, fish in our afternoon excursion with Let’s Go Fishing.

But every one of Burwell’s classmates on that pontoon reached shore wearing smiles as big as the one he had flashed when volunteer Dennis Forcier helped net the big bass.

Lotthammer and Forcier were among the many volunteers who hosted fourth-grade students from the Kennedy and Roosevelt Elementary Schools on outings on Green Lake in Spicer to start the 2022 season for the Willmar chapter of Let’s Go Fishing this past week. Four pontoons were kept busy. If all went as planned, some 220 students will have participated in the outings offered Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

It marked the start of the 20th season for the Willmar chapter, the first and founding chapter for the non-profit organization that now includes 17 chapters across the state and into Wisconsin.

“This has become really huge, every year,” said Rick Reimer of Let’s Go Fishing’s tradition of starting its season by hosting elementary students. Reimer serves as the chapter’s president.

Read the full article here at the West Central Tribune…

Eden Prairie and Beyond Reel in Memories

Three generations of Bill Block made fishing memories together.From his wheelchair, Bill Block felt a tug on his fishing rod just below the surface of misty Lake Riley in Eden Prairie. Along with his bright yellow life jacket, Block brought on board another life-saving element — his oxygen tank — as he battled the fish thrashing left and right.

Then Block, a U.S. Navy veteran, broke into a knowing smile as he reeled in his ferocious opponent: a sunfish no bigger than his hand.

Block was 80 at the time and residing in an assisted living facility in Burnsville when he made that memorable trip in 2017. His sponsor was the Eden Prairie chapter of Let’s Go Fishing (LGF), a volunteer-run nonprofit with 17 affiliates across Minnesota and Wisconsin. The organization provides free fishing trips to seniors, hospice patients, youth and families.

Last year, the chapter provided 320 trips to more than 4,100 people.

“Can you imagine being in an assisted living facility and [having] the chance to go fishing?” said Block’s son, also named Bill Block. The elder Block’s grandson also made the Lake Riley expedition, the fifth in the line of Bill Blocks.

“Get outside in the water and the sun and the pontoon boat and it’s all set up for someone in a wheelchair. That was key,” said his son.

Having grown up fishing on lakes in McLeod and Kandiyohi counties, Block seized the opportunity to relive the joy of his youth with his family alongside him. Like so many seniors whom LGF serves, Block continued to regale facility staff with tales of the trip until he died in 2020.

Read the full article here at the Star Tribune