Up North: 29th annual fishing tournament continues to benefit fight against ALS

Up North: 29th annual fishing tournament continues to benefit fight against ALS

Up North: 29th annual fishing tournament continues to benefit fight against ALS

Last weekend, anglers casted off in the 29th annual Kolar Toyota ALS fishing contest, which benefits those fighting ALS.

The event, partnered with Never Surrender and Northland Adaptive Recreation, focuses on not only the fundraising aspect, but allowing those who may not have otherwise been able to participate to get out on the water and cast a few lines.

“A lot of us take for granted the choice to be able to go, you know ‘Just gonna get in the boat and go fishing!’ Well, folks with physical functional loss don’t have that choice a lot of times unless they have family that are willing to make those things happen. We’re excited to have made that possibility available to those 8 or 10 families that have been impacted by ALS,” shared Eric Larson, the program manager at Northland Adaptive Recreation.

One of those families impacted have been the Lauers. Todd Lauer was one of the ALS patients who is proud to support the tournament and other Never Surrender efforts.

“Everybody’s in this together, right?” Said Lauer. “The ultimate goal of all of this is to make it so that my children, and your children, and everybody’s children don’t have to deal with this disease.”

Over 30,000 people in the United states live with ALS, which is why, while the fishing is great, it’s just about getting together for a good time, and getting to the bottom of curing the disease.

“ALS doesn’t discriminate,” said Blake Kolquist, the tournament manager. “Anytime, anywhere, anybody, doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from or what you do. I’ve seen it first hand, and it isn’t something I’d wish upon anybody, but unfortunately for those that do have it, we’re going to do everything we can to help them.”

“Fishing is just fun, you never know what you’re gonna get when you’re out there,” said Lauer. “It’s not about catching fish, it’s about the getting together and the camaraderie and everything that happens with that.”

Out on the water, the event had many volunteers of all ages willing and ready to give back.

“Last year I had a great experience helping out, I do it with my mom and my family and it’s just really fun to help out. We all know what ALS does and it just feels good to raise money to support people that have it, and hospitals and that type of stuff.”

Back on land, the support was there as well, as the event raised $287,560.

“The first thing I want to say is thank you to all of you that helped to raise money to fight ALS. It’s giving someone like me a chance. It gives me hope,” said Lauer.