Let’s hope for sub-zero temperatures! Before you think I’m crazy, or have had too much egg nog over the holidays, let me explain.
The Brainerd Jaycee’s are close to holding the 30th Anniversary edition of the Ice Fishing Extravaganza, scheduled for January 25th at Hole in the Day bay on Gull Lake, and we need more ice. This winter has not been what I would call a “normal” Minnesota winter. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s good for our heating bills, but for making ice on area lakes, this winter has been lousy. I think I have more ice on my driveway than you can find on some area lakes.
It’s important the Extravaganza goes on as planned for three reasons. First, the economic impact on the lakes area is really important. It is estimated that the Extravaganza generates more than a million dollars in collective revenue for area businesses, and during a time of the year when normally it would be a slow economic time of the year.
Secondly, the Jaycees give 100 percent of the proceeds to approximately 50 area charities which adds up to about $150,000 to support programs helping families all over the lakes area. A big chunk of the proceeds go to the Confidence Learning Center, but many other charities and organizations volunteer during the event and are rewarded with donations for their help. Since the Extravaganza started, they’ve donated over $4-million to charitable organizations.
Thirdly, the Extravaganza receives national and international recognition in major publications like National Geographic and Sports Illustrated, and on television programs like ESPN, The Early Show, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News just to name a few. This coverage of the event and the Brainerd Lakes Area is invaluable to promoting tourism in the area.
Truth be told, I don’t really like sub-zero temps, but if we get a cold snap and the ice gets to the required thickness so the tournament can take place, we will all be better off thanks to the Brainerd Jaycees.