Acting on advice from the Centers for Disease Control (canceling events for gatherings of 250 or more people), the Let's Go Fishing Eden Prairie chapter cut bait and postponed last Saturday's fish fry fundraiser, the organization's biggest fundraiser of the year.
On Sunday, the CDC recommended canceling or postponing in-person events that consist of 50 or more people for at least the next eight weeks.
“It's disappointing,” said Let's Go Fishing Eden Prairie President Steve Wilson, “but understandable. What can you do?”
The decision to postpone Saturday's event was made Saturday morning. The event was scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
To cut losses, Let's Go Fishing Eden Prairie sold the perishable food it had already purchased.
“We put a note on our Facebook page,” said Wilson. “We sold it at our cost. The fish was gone by 11:15, the potato salad by 12:15.”
Non-perishable supplies, including the oil for fish frying, will be stowed away for what Wilson hopes will be a future fish fry in late May or early June.
“It's a problem if it doesn't happen,” said Wilson. “Our boats (pontoons) are paid off, but its costs about $16,000 to run the program per year. That's with 100% of what we bring in going into the program. We're run by volunteers and no one takes a salary.”
Last year, Let's Go Fishing Eden Prairie counted 350 trips.
“We took out 4,192 people,” said Wilson, of the fishing trips and pontoon rides on Lake Riley. “That's a lot of people.”
This year's program is slated to start on Monday, June 1.
“That's the plan,” said Wilson, “but if we can't hold our fundraiser, or raise some funding, we might not be able to go the whole season.”
A live and silent auction set for Saturday has been moved to an online auction. Auction items include:
- Two-hour dessert/sunset cruise on Lake Riley for up to eight guests
- Four tickets to the Eden Prairie Community Foundation’s EP Brewfest on Sept. 12
- Three-night, two-day stay at Ballard’s Resort, including a guided walleye fishing trip and meals for six
- A stay on Lake Vermilion for the fishing opener for three
- A fishing adventure with Eden Prairie Coach Mike Grant and eight guests on Lake Riley
- Autographed coach Bud Grant bobblehead
- Sports memorabilia
To bid, go to charityauctiontoday.com/auctions/LGFEP-1092. The online auction will close at noon on Friday, May 1.
Donations to Let's Go Fishing Eden Prairie are always welcome. To donate, go to lgfedenprairie.com.
Let's Go Fishing Eden Prairie is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and is completely volunteer-led with no paid staff. It relies solely on philanthropic donations to make its work possible.