For many Brainerd area charities this time of year is almost as much fun as tax refund time is for the average family. Call it a late Christmas present or an early tax rebate, the Brainerd Jaycees annual announcement of how much money was raised in the Ice Fishing Extravaganza is an anticipated event.
This year the total was $211,528. That amount will be donated to more than 65 area charities - a terrific success that placed 2007 in the top five contests all-time. That degree of accomplishment has been the story in each of the past 17 years the contest has been conducted. The Jaycees' generous contributions have provided a needed shot in the arm to many area charities. It's been such a good run that the contributions are almost a matter of routine now.
These revenues, however, would be sorely missed if the Jaycees skipped a year and the anglers stayed home. All of us who help support or who draw from the resources of area charities should realize that the Extravaganza's success doesn't happen without a lot of hard work. More than 450 volunteers helped as 10,500 anglers tried their luck ice fishing. The Jaycees deserve the community's thanks. Not only for their generosity to area charities, but for their establishment of a thriving tourist attraction in a traditionally slow season.
Make sure to mark Jan. 26, 2008, on your calendar. That's the date of next year's $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza.
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