Despite frigid temperatures and blustery winds pushing the wind-chill below zero, the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Veterans Club held a very successful First Annual Veterans for Veterans Ice Fishing Contest Saturday on Lake DuBay.
“We raised around $1,000 for Camp American Legion,” said Patrick Seybert, who headed the planning for the event.
Camp American Legion is a resort in Tomahawk, WI, run by the American Legion that is free to Wisconsin veterans who are in need of rest and recuperation from any physical or psychological afflictions they may be suffering from.
In the first year of its existence, members of the Vets Club said they were happy with how the event turned out and that next year it should be even better.
“Around 60-70 people showed up,” said Zach Reusch, Veterans Club President. “We were expecting around 125-150 but I think the inclement weather kept some
people at home.”
Temperatures struggled to get out of the single digits in the morning, with the wind chill making things feel like it was negative 15.
“We were fortunate enough to obtain a tent that allowed people to get out of the wind,” Seybert said.
All participants ended up donating the fish they caught to The Salvation Army in Stevens Point.
“We came up with the idea last spring, with planning initiated around October,” Seybert said.
“Patrick had the vision, drive and determination to make it happen,” said Reusch of Seybert’s role in the event. “Without him it never would have happened.”
Veterans Outdoor World also helped with planning for the event. VOW is an organization that is “committed to using hunting, fishing and the outdoors as a form of therapy, camaraderie and friendship” toward veterans.
The Vets Club currently has around 70 members, with around 325 veterans currently attending UWSP, according to Ann Whip, veterans coordinator for campus.