|8/20/2021 11:57:00 AM|
Let's Go Fishing program
Let’s Go Fishing has been offering two pontoon boats, on the water four days a week, with two excursions daily; from spring warm-up to mid-September, providing a memorable day for 800 to 900 people annually. Veterans, seniors, special needs persons, or those nearing their final days can get out on the water, toss a line and maybe even land a fish or two.
Coordinating the schedules for 70 program volunteers, some of whom come from as far away as Woodbury, is Joe Sroga. He painted a profile of “Let’s Go Fishing North Central” for this story about the organization as the Ki Chi Saga Grande Day Parade Grand Marshal. This weekend look for the people in the boat at the head of the parade.
Sroga says everybody works in their own skillset and gives as many hours as they personally have to give, making the Let’s Go Fishing program so special. There’s room for more volunteers for piloting boats, repairs and maintenance, or aiding riders. Cash donations get put to work buying fuel, equipment and a host of expenses. Many people donate to honor a day their loved one spent on the lake. There are no paid personnel.
Contact Sroga at email@example.com or call 651-261-4812 to either contribute or ask about a rider.
The Let’s Go Fishing support through the years extends to foundations, civic groups and gifts and grants that help the program literally stay afloat.
Sroga says having a private dock to tie up at now has really made the program more efficient. Every little bit is appreciated, a simple donation by Chisago Lakes Rotary of a bench at a landing, gives pontoon riders somewhere to sit and means alot.
It is a super rewarding program to be involved in, Sroga states. “Are we doing good? Yes.”
He tells of sharing a day on the water and hearing a rider give a whoop of glee— who hadn’t uttered a sound in years. Feeling the sun, wind and the roll of the waves under the pontoon floats combinefor a form of organic physical therapy, he believes.
And it’s not just the guests who thrive. “I like to say I have been given a good life,” Sroga shares. “But being involved in this, has been the best thing I ever did.”
The Chisago City parade is Sunday, August 22. Start is at 2 p.m. and runs along Old Towne Road mainly.