A Grand Rapids father-and-son duo hope to recapture their title as top fund-raisers for the 13th Annual Minnesota Fishing Challenge on Gull Lake this summer.
Dave and Daniel Buxengard, known as Team CabinPlace, are raising money for the fishing tournament in support of MN Adult and Teen Challenge, a faith-based recovery program for a broad spectrum of addiction issues.
Last year, the tournament raised $350,000 for MN Adult and Teen Challenge’s drug and rehabilitation programs. Donations dropped in 2020 with COVID-19, but tournament officials hope to bounce back and raise $500,000 this year.
As top fundraisers two years in a row, the Buxengards hope to surpass the $12,600 they raised in 2019.
Dave said the fishing tournament is a fun, family-friendly way to support a good cause and help people get their lives back on track. During the tournament, he listens to the client’s testimonies about substance abuse and how the program has helped get their lives back on track.
“Some of those testimonies are absolutely heartbreaking,” Dave said. “Hearing those testimonies really solidifies what we are doing.”
With many economic and health difficulties occurring the past year, those battling substance abuse need help provided by MN Adult and Teen Challenge more than ever.
Tournament director Bernie Barringer says money raised from the tournament goes a long way to provide help to people who need it the most.
“You have to transform your heart if you’re really going to get out of the chains of drug and alcohol addiction,” Barringer said. “We want to help them. That’s what this tournament does.”
The fishing tournament makes a triumphant return to Gull Lake this year. Last year, anglers were able to fish on whatever lake they pleased. Teams must consist of two people and can fish in whichever division they choose: bass, walleye, pike, panfish, or mixed bag.
MN Adult and Teen Challenge has five locations across the state. They are located in Duluth, Brainerd, Rochester, Minneapolis, and Buffalo.
Team CabinPlace is raising funds for the Duluth and Brainerd locations. They typically raise money by talking to family, friends, and business leaders in Grand Rapids. Dave plans to expand his fundraising footprint to Bemidji and the Iron Range this year.
Last year, The Buxengards raised $6,700. They raised $12,600 in 2019. They hope to get back to those numbers this year.
“It’s just been really fulfilling,” Dave said. “We’re investing in the future of a lot of people.”
So far, Team CabinPlace has raised $2,875 and sits atop the leaderboard. Money is being raised all the way up to the start of the tournament.
Anyone can enter the tournament and entries are limited to 150 teams consisting of two people. Each team that recruits a new team will be entered in a drawing to win a $1,000 Fleet Farm shopping spree. New teams must consist of both partners who have not previously participated. Each team that raises $500 will get their name entered in a drawing for a brand new Lund boat.
Although the Buxengards are confident they will be the tournament’s top fundraisers again, they would be more than happy to see another team raise even more money. After all, it’s going towards a cause they believe in.
Donations can be made to Team CabinPlace by visiting www.fishingchallenge.org,
For more information about MN Adult and Teen Challenge, visit www.mntc.org.