2014 ALS Walleye Tournament

Updated: 06/04/2014 10:34 PM
Created: 06/04/2014 10:25 PM
By: Briggs LeSavage

Fishermen at the 19th annual Kolar Toyota ALS Walleye Tournament reeled in a record number of donations Saturday.

The tournament raised $171,525 to help fight the life-altering disease otherwise known as Lou Gehrigs. This year's total surpassed the event's previous donation record by about $15,000 and put its all-time total near $2.3 million.

Event organizer Blake Kolquist said it was great to see fishermen come out in the hundreds to support the cause but what has been most impressive for him is the community's lasting support.

"It's incredible," Kolquist said. "We watch all year and we work all year for events like these and to get support from the community and volunteers, especially the fishermen. They keep showing up and are all here for the right reasons- to make a difference for ALS."

Kolquist has a special connection to the tournament, as it was his uncle, Kevin Kolquist, who was the event's inspriation after he was diagnosed with ALS nearly two decades ago.

"(ALS) was new to our family. We didn't know a lot about it, but we became more familiar with it over the years and more familiar with people around the region who are affected by it. We tried to put stuff together to make a difference," Kolquist said.

Money raised from the event goes to support patients in the Northland and the Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota regions. Kolquist said medical equipment, respite care and helping to make patients' lifestyles with the disease manageable are key areas that tournament organizers hope to cover with the donations.

Adam Krause has been volunteering with the event for about 10 years and said while the tournament is competition-based, it's hard to tell looking at the generous donations and large volunteer corps.

"The fishing is a big part of it, but it's more about helping out, trynig to find a cure for ALS," Krause said. "The anglers obviously want to win it, but to raise money, that's the most important thing."

Fisherman Mark Geistfeld of Hermantown said he caught several fish during the Island Lake event, but added that the real catch was the tournament itself.

"It's just amazing," Geistfeld said. "Even if I didn't fish it, I think I'd volunteer just to be a part of this. It's a real joy."

Front Page

  • Alleged Wisc. Bank Robber in St. Louis County Jail

    A man was arrested in Duluth Saturday night after he allegedly robbed a bank in Eau Claire, Wisc. the night before. The Eau Claire Police Department responded to a bank robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Eau Claire on Friday night.

  • Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener

    The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt.

  • Northlanders Give Back in Preparation for Holiday Season

    Northlanders gave back on Saturday in preparation for the holiday season. It was Family Volunteer Day at the Duluth Library, and folks participated in several friendly projects.

  • "By Us, For Us" Meeting to Discuss Vision for Equity in Duluth

    Duluth's Native and African heritage communities came together on Saturday to share experiences and ideas at the 1st United Methodist Church. The meeting called "By Us, For Us" invited people of color, African Americans and Native Americans to come together to break bread and learn about each other culturally. 

  • MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000

    Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.


Freezing Rain Advisory

MN AREAS AFFECTED: East Marshall; East Polk; Lake Of The Woods; Mahnomen; North Beltrami; North Clearwater; Pennington; Red Lake; Roseau; South Beltrami; South Clearwater
Expires: 11/24/2014 12:00 AM

Dense Fog Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Ashland; Bayfield; Burnett; Douglas; Iron; Price; Sawyer; Washburn
Expires: 11/24/2014 12:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Bayfield; Douglas
Expires: 11/25/2014 6:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

Expires: 11/25/2014 8:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

Expires: 11/25/2014 8:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Gogebic; Ontonagon
Expires: 11/25/2014 7:00 AM