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Dock Talk: Supporters wanted for GFO in May

The 2013 Governor's Fishing Opener hosted by the Park Rapids Community is looking for additional volunteers in several capacities. Volunteering to be a fishing "host" is one of those, where you would take a couple people fishing on the opening day of the northern and walleye season this coming spring. A fish of this magnitude would undoubtedly impress any guest. (Jason Durham / For the Enterprise)

The 2013 Governor's Fishing Opener in Park Rapids is approaching faster than you might think.

Wednesday's meeting at Northern Pines Church Camp spanned longer than anticipated, but the dedicated community members finalized several key items for hosting the event on May 11.

Currently, committee members are looking for four varying levels of support.

First, the group has been promoting the sale of raffle tickets to win one of two prizes. One prize is a 2013 Crestliner 1750 Raptor rigged with a 115 horse-power Mercury Optimax and complete with a Shoreland'r trailer, a boat, motor and trailer package worth nearly $28,000.

Additionally, an 8' by 16' Ice Castle fish house valued at over $15,000 will go home with a lucky ticket holder.

Tickets are $5 each and are available at several Park Rapids businesses or by contacting the Park Rapids Chamber.

The second area needing additional support is for fishing hosts.

A host is someone willing to bring a couple people fishing on an area lake on opening day. Hosts don't receive monetary compensation but they will get some great commemorative gifts, a handful of outstanding meals at no charge and an experience that will last a lifetime. The community connection and enthusiasm that will take place for the event will make you feel proud to take part.

Fishing hosts don't need the fanciest boat available, but do need to outfit a couple anglers with fishing rods, tackle and life-jackets. Applications can be found under the 2013 Governor's Fishing Opener tab at

The third area needing support is volunteers. You don't have to be an angler, you simply have to show up to help for a short period of time to assist with anything ranging from registering guests to moving tables or chairs. These aren't typically day-long positions (although the committee would welcome help to that degree) and any volunteer labor is appreciated. Contact Emma Moore at the Chamber office 732-4111 for more information.

Finally, financial support is needed for the 2013 Governor's Fishing Opener.

Businesses interested in donating money, products or services to the event are urged to take part.

The main focus of the weekend is to highlight the Park Rapids area, including connected communities to increase tourism. The area will receive an impressive amount of media exposure through print, radio and television. That exposure equates to an overall boost in the local economy via the numerous media outlets that will not only highlight the areas' angling attributes, but the unique offerings that make our community so special.

The 2013 Governor's Fishing Opener isn't simply about dedicating time or financial resources; everyone involved will enjoy a festival focusing on our heritage: fishing!

The enthusiasm will be most noticeable at the Community Picnic, Friday May 10 on Main Street. The carnival-like atmosphere will feature free food for all who attend, kid's events, music, a fireworks display and an unforgettable community connection.