On June 14, the Friendship Fish ‘n’ Float Program officially relaunched with the support of local organizations to help seniors, veterans, disabled individuals, and children experience the Mississippi River.
With this relaunch, the community will once again have programs providing free cruising or fishing experiences on the Mississippi River to seniors, veterans, and disabled individuals, as well as, a youth education program centered around fishing.
The Friendship Fish 'n' Float program was previously operated through the “Let’s Go Fishing Minnesota” organization. Local chapters were required to raise funds for all expenses (including a pontoon purchase) with no actual ownership of any assets and were assessed a yearly fee that the Winona Chapter board members deemed excessive. The Winona Chapter of “Let’s Go Fishing Minnesota” ultimately discontinued its five-year relationship with the organization in the spring of 2017 and had to end operations for the remainder of the season.
Through the efforts of the board, Friendship Fish ‘n’ Float is now sponsored by the Winona Friendship Center Activity Council (WFCAC). With Miller Ingenuity’s donation, individual and corporate donations have generated over $45,000, which was enough to cover the cost of a new pontoon boat and operating expenses for the first year.
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