Event raises  funds for veterans  organization

Veterans are pictured after a successful day of fishing on a charter boat on Lake Superior made possible by donations to the Fishing with Vets organization. An event called Schnorr’s Mudfest set for Sept. 11 in Chisholm is a fundraiser for Fishing with Vets.

CHISHOLM — With Saturday marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America, organizers of the annual Schnorr’s Mudfest — a fundraiser for Fishing with Vets — wanted to do something extra special.

“Being it’s the 20th anniversary of 9/11 we wanted to take the opportunity to give something back to the community, so we, as a board, decided to put on a fireworks show for the area,” said Bob Sterns, Fishing with Vets Board Director.

This year’s version of the event, which takes place in and around Chisholm, will not only feature the usual ATV ride, but also a street dance starting at 7 p.m. on Lake Street.

The fireworks will start at 9:11 p.m.

Fishing with Vets is a non-profit organization that provides free fishing outings for military veterans.

Todd Schnorr, a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Army, who also serves on the Fishing with Vets Board of Directors, started the mudfest that bears his name eight years ago as a way to raise money to get veterans out fishing.

“It seemed like the right thing to do and has exploded year to year,” Schnorr said.

The day starts with an ATV ride, with registration, lineup and raffles at 9 a.m. on Lake Street in Chisholm. A patriotic tribute including a 21-gun salute by the Mid-Range Honor Guard is planned for shortly before the ride starts at 10 a.m. sharp.

Over the years Schnorr’s Mudfest has raised $32,000 for Fishing with Vets.

“It’s an extremely good example of how good the Iron Range is by supporting veterans, by spending money on raffles, and helping us raise money for veterans in general,” Sterns said.

Based on preliminary sign-ups this year’s ride is shaping up to be the largest ever.

“This will get a lot of veterans out for Fishing with Vets and will be its biggest fundraiser,” said Schnorr. He added that people don’t need an ATV to participate and is encouraging everyone to come out and join the festivities.

If history is any indication, that’s exactly what will happen.

Schnorr said the City of Chisholm and the local business community have been very supportive of the ride.

“The Range takes in their veterans like no other — and Chisholm seems to kick it up a notch,” he said.

The course selected for this year’s ride follows the Chisholm ATV Trail on an approximately 28-mile round trip from Chisholm to the Chisholm Sportsmen’s Club Gun Club near Side Lake.

“It’ll be just a nice ride through the woods and back for the street dance,” Schnorr said.

A local band, Iron Range Funk Machine, is scheduled to perform at the street dance, from 7 to 11 p.m.

Entry for the ride is a suggested donation of $20 per person and includes lunch and dinner. A limited supply of Schnorr’s Mudfest apparel is available to purchase and serves as entry to the ride.

For more information or volunteer opportunities, you can contact Todd Schnorr via email at toddschnorr@yahoo.com, or by calling 218-966-4774.

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Fishing with Vet’s mission is, “To provide veterans, both active and retired, with an opportunity to fish some of the Midwest’s premier fishing destinations,” according to information found on the organization’s website.

It goes on to say that the veterans are paired up with guides who are some of the Midwest’s best angles.

“The main goal of our events is to create life-long memories and friendships for our veterans.”

Last month Schnorr helped out at a Fishing with Vets event, where 20 veterans were treated to a free weekend fishing trip at Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, and earlier this year, he accompanied four different groups of veterans to free guided fishing trips on Lake Superior.

Fishing with Vets also takes veterans out on ice fishing trips in the wintertime.

Schnorr said Fishing with Vets is fortunate to have “a plethora” of sponsors for this year’s mudfest, and plans to display their names on flags at all of its fishing outings as it historically has done.

“I just can’t thank the sponsors enough,” Schnorr said.

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