The 10th Annual Firefighters/PVA
Joel Niemeyer Memorial “Gone Fishing” Walleye Event was held a couple of weeks ago in Chamberlain, SD. My dad and I look forward to this event every year -- usually it’s the only time we get out fishing. This year the event was named after Joel Niemeyer; we lost Joel this past year. He was a high level quad who not only helped me a lot when I first got injured, but helped so many people throughout his life. They produced a wonderful video tribute to him, along with a display of photos and awards he received throughout his life. PVA honored his family with a plaque and they said a few words to us.
Jim Jardy, my co-captain from my first year at the walleye fishing event, was awarded the Annual Keith Harvey plaque. This award is given to anyone who encourages people to attend the walleye-fishing trip. Jim was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer this past year -- the same cancer South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow died from. We were all happy to see him out fishing and of course getting this much-deserved award.
The weather was cold! The extended forecast called for 90-degree weather. Perfect fishing weather for an “always cold woman” like me, but every time I checked the weather, the temperature kept going down. I was afraid to look at my weather app anymore in fear snow would be the next thing I see.
The fish were biting well in some boats and not so well in others. I went out with two different captains this year and we didn’t catch our limit in either boat. We caught more than enough to take home for my parents to eat since I don’t eat fish. My pink pole
made its debut and failed miserably. I take that back. It did catch the first fish of the day on Thursday, but it is pretty much a fish from shore type of pole. Just too wimpy for the fishing we do on the river. It did make an appearance on the show Wild Dakota while dad was reeling in a 23-inch walleye. Sure, when they film me I’m catching fish that could be bait, but dad gets a keeper when they are filming him.
I also fell in love on this trip, with a golden lab puppy. I should have never held him, because I didn’t want to let him go. He was being raffled off as one of the big prizes, the other was a gun. For $20 you got a chance at either. I’m shocked my dad put money in, but we didn’t win him. I was crushed. I will cherish the two hours I got to hold him. Just the sweetest little puppy. Someday, when I’m in a house of my own, a lab puppy will be in my future. Meanwhile, my Romo has a lot of love to give me and that’s the best thing about owning a dog, no matter the size.
And finally, the scenery in Chamberlain along the river is a sight to see. I never get tired of looking at it or taking photos of it. From the hills and the big bridges, to the awesome sunsets over the water. It something everyone should see once in his or her life.
This trip wouldn’t be possible without the numerous donors and volunteers that contribute and the Paralyzed Veterans of America North Centeral Chapter. This year the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation granted a $5000 Quality of Life grant for the event. Since I work for the Foundation I thought it would be cool if we could do one of those big check presentations. I’ve never done one before so this was kind of exciting. I made the presentation, short and sweet, and then we posed for photos. It warms my heart that the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation helped put us on the water this year. I thank you and I know everyone else does for your generous donation.
For more photos of this awesome event please click here
© 2012 Kristina Allen