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Continued: Big or small, ice fishing contests are part of Minnesota lore

  • Article by: BILL KLEIN , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 28, 2013 - 8:27 PM

“My husband, Jeff, and I, our family and our friends, will not let Jacob’s story end at the cemetery,” Steuernagel said. “We will tell it again and again to raise suicide awareness, remove the stigma and point the way to hope.”

To this end, the family has founded a nonprofit organization: Jake’s Hope.

Suicide is one of the three leading causes of death among teenagers. Preventing suicide is the singular mission of Jake’s Hope.

With the help of professionals trained in the QPR technique (Question, Persuade, Refer) the Steuernagels, through Jake’s Hope, are speaking to any group in the Chisago County area who will listen about the three-step process for identifying and helping people contemplating suicide.

“We aren’t professionals,” said Deanna Steuernagel, “but, sadly, we have firsthand experience we can share.” Even the Steuernagel’s daughter, Katelyn, 15, is speaking about suicide awareness to younger audiences.

An ice fishing contest seemed like a natural for Jake’s Hope’s first fundraising effort because Jacob and his tackle box were never far apart. Now his fishing buddies and the entire Lindstrom/Center City community are rallying around the event. Clam Outdoors, Eco Jigs, Tips Outdoors and Fish Addictions, local ice fishing vendors, are sending 20 men to drill holes and help orchestrate the day’s activities. Area retailers are supplying prizes such as TV sets, bikes, electronic fishing aids and Nintendo games.

There will be food trucks, warming tents and the promise of fish. All this sounds like a great way to spend a winter day.

So grab your short poles and find an ice fishing contest.

You’ll have another hard-water tale you can share with your uninitiated friends in the Sun Belt. The fishing and the fun are guaranteed. You might not win a pickup truck or an ice auger, but just being on the ice with kindred spirits, knowing you’re supporting a good cause, is a grand prize.

 

Retired from the workaday world, Bill Klein lives in May Township, just north of St. Paul.

  • related content

  • Chart: Jake's Grab a Pole Ice Fishing Contest information

    Saturday December 28, 2013

    If You Go• Jake’s Grab a Pole & Pick a Hole Ice Fishing Contest, Feb. 8, North Center Lake, Center City.• 11...

  • From left, Katelyn Steuernagel, Deanna Steuernagel, Jeff Steuernagel (holding photo of Jacob Steuernagel), Joshua Steuernagel and Kaden Steuernagel (son of Joshua) gathered on North Center Lake near Center City, where the family will hold an ice fishing contest Feb. 8. The goal of their nonprofit, Jake’s Hope, is to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention after Jacob Steuernagel, Deanna and Jeff’s son, took his own life in 2013 at age 18. “We will tell [Jacob’s story] again and again to raise suicide awareness, remove the stigma and point the way to hope,” Deanna Steuernagel said.

  • The Brainerd Jaycees’ Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Gull Lake — billed as the World’s Largest Ice Fishing Contest — regularly attracts 10,000 hardy anglers. Prizes worth $150,000 will be awarded, and 45 charities in the Brainerd area will stand to receive another $150,000 from the proceeds of the event.

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