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Volunteers looking to found intergenerational fishing organization

Fishing enthusiasts are trying to drum up interest in starting a Park Rapids chapter of Let's Go Fishing.

The program, founded in 2002, is aimed at getting senior citizens out to fish and takes them on fishing and boating excursions. There are 18 chapters scattered throughout Minnesota, serving 18,000 seniors.

Kurt Hansen is one of the interested people. As the administrator of Heritage Living Center, he sees plenty of seniors who are itching to drop a fishing line in the water but are unable to because of mobility issues. Many have also sold their boats and fishing gear as they downsized in their senior years.

"We'd like to get seniors out on the waters," he said. "So many of them lose that ability at some point in their lives."

Hansen and fellow enthusiast Ron Norenberg have scheduled an informational meeting March 24 in the community room of Northwoods Bank in Park Rapids, to see if there is enough interest to form a chapter. The meeting is at 7 p.m.

If there's enough interest, the group would appoint a board of directors, form a chapter and begin fundraising.

The goal is to raise up to $40,000 in startup costs, to purchase a handicapped-accessible pontoon, trailer and fishing gear. After that there would be annual operational costs.

At last count, Let's Go Fishing had more than 1,100 volunteers and 23 chapters in all. For more information, interested persons can check out the Web site at or attend the meeting.