La Crosse Rotarian raised $100,000 for local organizations in memorial fishing event

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La Crosse, WI – Three years ago, La Crosse Rotarian and business owner Al Louis sent his fellow Rotarian David Amborn a photo of a musky Al caught in northern Minnesota. Ever the creative philanthropist, David’s response was “There’s got to be a way to raise money with this.” With the support of the Rotary Club of downtown La Crosse, thus began the annual Al’s Musky Challenge fundraising event.

The event took a heart-wrenching and heart-warming turn this year. Al Louis has been fishing for musky this summer in memory of his mentor and friend David Amborn, who passed away unexpectedly in February. Proceeds will be shared by four La Crosse area organizations that were close to David’s heart: Children’s Miracle Network, Children’s Museum of La Crosse, Coulee Recovery Center, and the La Crosse Community Theatre. 

Rotarian Al Louis fished in Minnesota’s Lake Vermilion twice per week from mid-July into September, looking for large and elusive muskies while raising funds to honor a beloved member of the community and champion of children and individuals in-need.

Al and his wife Brenda not only personally donated to the cause, but challenged fellow Rotarians, businesses, and others to get involved by making a one-time donation or pledging an amount per musky caught.

This year’s Al’s Musky Challenge blew previous year’s efforts out of the water! The proceeds–over $100,000—will be shared by each of the four beneficiary organizations, leaving a legacy of generosity that continues in David Amborn’s memory. Not only did Al raise more money this year than ever before, he caught 9 muskies, including one measuring 54.25”, exceeding Al’s personal best and almost reaching the state record of 57.25”.

“I wanted to pay tribute to David and all he meant to me and our community by supporting these non-profit organizations that meant a lot to him,” Louis said. “David often said ‘let’s do it for the kids.’ This year, we added ‘let’s do it for David.’”

Media representatives, event supporters, and other interested individuals are invited to the check presentation ceremony on Friday, October 15th at noon in Riverside Park near the Riverside International Friendship Gardens.

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