One of the greatest, most compassionate special events in Eagle River’s history passed the quarter-century mark this year, as the Fishing Has No Boundaries outing reached its 26th anniversary.

There are hardly enough words to express what this event has meant to hundreds and hundreds of people with special needs over the years, giving them an opportunity to fish, to socialize and to enjoy a weekend with great people in scenic Eagle River.

It takes nearly 100 volunteers every year to accomplish all that is needed. They are much more than fishing guides, providing more than 20 pontoon boats that are equipped with enough people and supplies to create a fun and carefree fishing experience.

But that’s just part of it. These volunteers handle the scheduling, driving, supervision, hands-on assistance, fish cleaning, untangling poles, cooking and all those little details that go into catering to 71 anglers with special needs. They ranged in age from 18 to 79, and seven of them fished from wheelchairs.

Wild Eagle Lodge with its dock space, spacious grounds, private boat launch and other amenities is the perfect place to stage this annual event.

Event Chairman Wil Campbell, who has led this event from the beginning, is correct in saying the event proves that fishing really has no boundaries. And it also proves that when it comes to caring people who want to help others, the sky is the limit on what they can accomplish.

In fact, there are many familiar faces in that crowd of volunteers, including others who have been helping in some way for all 26 years. Local organizations such as the Eagle River Lions Club, the Headwaters Chapter of Muskies Inc., Masonic Lodge 248 and Northwoods Shrine Club are also involved annually.

Just assembling 21 pontoon boats from area businesses and individuals every year is a chore all its own, and four medical boats were on the water to assist these special anglers. Seven of them were provided by area business owners and 14 came from individuals.

We applaud Campbell and the volunteers for the legacy they’ve created through Fishing Has No Boundaries. 

Newspapers welcome

Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA) staff, publishers and reporters from across the state will converge on Eagle River this week for the group’s annual summer retreat.

Headquartered at Trees For Tomorrow, the retreat will include a Memorial Pylon Ceremony that permanently honors deceased newspaper publishers from across Wisconsin. They’ll also golf, fish, enjoy campfires and learn from guest speakers while here.

Eagle River is home to the WNA’s Press Forest on Sundstein Road, which was established to support sustainable forestry, the paper industry and reforestation — shared goals of the Trees For Tomorrow resources specialty school that conducts recreation-based outdoor classrooms using the Press Forest and other properties.

Behind the editorial ‘we’

  Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Michelle Drew.