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Fishing for a Cure: Annual ladies-only cancer fundraiser set to return to Chamberlain on June 25

The organization raised roughly $20,000 in 2021 to distribute to cancer patients in Brule, Buffalo and Lyman counties.

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CHAMBERLAIN — An annual ladies’ fishing tournament is set to return to the Missouri River this month, spreading awareness and raising upward of $20,000 to support area cancer patients.

Fishing for a Cure’s sixth-annual ladies-only tournament will return to Chamberlain on June 24-25, featuring silent, live and online auctions plus a day of fishing on the state’s largest river.

According to Kelli Potter, treasurer of Fishing for a Cure, the non-profit assists cancer patients in Brule, Buffalo and Lyman counties by distributing $100 Visa gift cards to help them and their families with whatever expenses they might incur, though she suspects many of this year’s gifts will be directed toward travel expenses.

“Insurance doesn’t pick up mileage costs. Here in Chamberlain, you can’t get chemo or radiation, so some people are either going to Pierre, for limited services in Mitchell, Sioux Falls, or even the Mayo Clinic [in Rochester, Minnesota],” Potter said. “With gas prices at $4-plus a gallon, we’re doling out a lot of cards.”

The non-profit handed out roughly $20,000 in cards to area cancer patients in 2021, something Potter said the organization sees as “absolutely vital.”

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This year’s tournament will kick off Friday, June 24, with a variety of raffles and auctions. High-ticket items including a hot tub and quarter beef will be raffled, while donations of beef, a grill, Bluetooth speaker, garden items and basket donations from local businesses will be auctioned off, as well as Sioux Falls Canaries and Sioux Falls Stampede tickets, hotel stays and Thomas Rhett concert tickets.

Potter said the organization is extremely grateful for all the businesses and other groups that donate items for auction, adding that Fishing for a Cure “couldn’t do it without them.”

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The Mermaid Squad holds up six walleye they caught during Fishing for a Cure's tournament in 2021.
Photo courtesy of Fishing for a Cure

Entering and competing in the tournament

Registration is currently open for the tournament through Fishing for a Cure’s website. Teams of two to four ladies may enter the tournament at a cost of $100 per team. Any team who registers after June 17 will be subject to an additional $20 late fee.

Non-fishing captains and crew, of any gender, may also join the team on the boat to assist with rigging lines, baiting hooks and netting fish, but the ladies must cast their own lines.

Two categories of competition will ensue, judging teams by the weight of six walleye, no more than two of which may be over 20 inches in length, as well as by the weight of five other legal fish of any other species in the second category.

All boats must launch and return from the American Creek Marina and weigh in at their designated times, while also following all applicable South Dakota boating and fishing laws.

Teams must attend a rules meeting on Friday, June 24, to compete. Other tournament rules can be found on the event’s website.

Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at HDunteman@MitchellRepublic.com, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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