Itasca-Mantrap has named Let's Go Fishing Headwaters Chapter the winner of the 2017 local Touchstone Energy Community Award.

In appreciation of its community service, the organization received an engraved plaque and a $500 check that will be used for its cause.

Let's Go Fishing is a non-profit organization designed to return the outdoor experience to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to fish, boat or enjoy time with friends on the water. Let's Go Fishing organizers say it is more than just an opportunity to go fishing - it returns a sense of freedom, provides a safe opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, and offers time to socialize with peers and meet new friends.

The Let's Go Fishing Headwaters Chapter has taken more than 1,000 people for boat rides or fishing in the last six summers. It has 16 active volunteers, and in 2017, organized 23 trips with 175 riders and donated more than 200 hours of volunteer time.

When asked about the lasting impact of Let's Go Fishing, Chapter President Ron Norenberg said, "These guests have a pleasant memory of the beauty of wildlife, fresh air, friendships and stories. Many also enjoy the chance to fish and be active. One local guest said of her experience, 'I haven't had a chance to be on a lake since my husband passed away 12 years ago. This is great.'"

In October, Itasca-Mantrap sought candidates for the Touchstone Energy Community Award, which recognizes organizations for outstanding contributions to the region.

The Let's Go Fishing Headwaters Chapter's award application will be submitted for consideration in the statewide Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award. The statewide winning organization will receive $1,000 for its community cause. The Minnesota award will be presented in March during the Minnesota Rural Electric Association annual meeting in St. Paul.

The Touchstone Energy Community Award highlights the cooperative principle "concern for community."