Paralyzed Veterans of America (Wisconsin Chapter) and Salmon Unlimited Wisconsin joined forces to allow disabled veterans to fish on Lake Michigan. Paralyzed Veterans of America strives to enhance and uplift the lives of veterans who have experienced spinal cord trauma or who suffer from a spinal cord disease, MS, or ALS. Salmon Unlimited Wisconsin hosts Salmon-a-Rama, an annual fishing competition on Lake Michigan. The contest headquarters is Reefpoint Marina in Racine. Since 1973, this organization has worked to support Lake Michigan’s fishery.
On July 13, 2021, avid fishers and veterans spent nearly 6 hours out on the water. This event was accessible and made possible because of the partnership, volunteers, and boats provided by local charters in Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha. Key members who played a role in this event include:
- Ron Weasley from Salmon Unlimited
- Andy Glass –Free Radical
- Arnie Arredondo –Phoenix
- Al Johnson –Rainmaker
- Angelo Trentadue –Fishing Bug
- Shane Lemke –Salmon Chaser
- Josh Keeran –First In
- Travis Becker –Fish Chatter
- Sarah Sandahl –Schools Out
- Shane Jach –Summer School
- Greg Windau -Kings Full
- Jim Mueller -Stormtrooper
- Dave Malo -Do Jigger
- Reefpoint Brew House
- IRiver Property Management
- Butcher Block Meat Market
- RAKK Construction and Remodeling
- Wiscon and USA flooring
- Piggly Wiggly on Erie St.
Giving Veterans Opportunities
Veterans and volunteers arrived at 4:45 a.m. at Reefpoint Marina. Andy Nason was among the volunteers of the group and eager to help those involved. Nason and his friend Andy Glass were made aware of the event nearly a year ago and did not doubt that they wanted to give.
“They (the veterans) were thanking us (the volunteers),” said Nason. He also commented that “we were able to do something like this because of the sacrifices they gave.”
About 50 veterans could fish as a part of the partnership between Salmon Unlimited and Paralyzed Veterans of America (Wisconsin Chapter). It was an equally enjoyable time for volunteers as it was for former service members.
Veterans and volunteers went through getting on the boats, fishing, and even making their way to the cleaning station. Not only were the veterans able to take home lake trout and salmon, but they were also able to make it on the leaderboard for Salmon-a-Rama.
Salmon-a-Rama runs until July 18. For more information about the event and to see standings, click here. For details about Paralyzed Veterans of America and the partnership with Salmon-a-Rama, read here.
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