Minnesota is the “land of 10,000 lakes.” Several of those beautiful lakes are playing host to PIRTEK-branded boats on the 2018 fishing circuit, a season that includes an annual outing with veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
PIRTEK USA’s corporate headquarters is sponsoring one fishing boat in the summer-long tournament, while multi-franchise owner Craig Heitkamp is sponsoring two. “One of the big pluses is being able to participate in Take a Vet Fishing, which we always like to do,” said Heitkamp, owner of PIRTEK Midway and PIRTEK Plymouth, both in Minnesota.
The Take a Vet Fishing event took place on Aug. 19 on Mille Lacs Lake Isle, MN. It’s an annual excursion in which anglers take military veterans out for a day of fun on the water.
“This is a great opportunity for PIRTEK people to show some appreciation to our military veterans who have made so many sacrifices on our behalf,” said Georganne DeSeve, marketing manager of PIRTEK USA. “It’s one small way to give something back. The fishing event offers them a day of peace and recreation on some of the most beautiful waters in the country.”
Every year during the fishing season, the PIRTEK boats glide across Minnesota lakes as anglers compete to haul in prize catches. The fishing began May 5 at Big Stone Lake in Ortonville and ran until Sept. 14 at Lake of the Woods in Baudette.
Participants in the fishing excursions were Minnesotans Keith Kapaun, operations manager at PIRTEK Midway in St. Paul, and Rich Thies, operations manager at PIRTEK Plymouth. It’s the fifth year the pair have been involved in the competition.
The competitive fishing, organized by Minnesota Tournament Trail, is a popular series of events that offer prizes to the most successful fishermen. The tournament finale on Lake of the Woods draws many enthusiasts – sometimes more than 100 boats – to a body of water nearly 70 miles long that borders both Minnesota and Canada.
But the big event for both Kapaun and Thies is always Take a Vet Fishing. Both men served in the military and welcome the opportunity to provide their fellow vets with an enjoyable time on the lake. “Considering I’m one of them, this is important to me,” Kapaun said. “After all, we are a band of brothers and sisters.”
Thies also expressed appreciation at being able to serve the vets. “They’ve done so much in the service of our country,” he said. “It’s a great privilege to take them out to enjoy the unspoiled lakes and the thrill of pulling in walleye, bass or whatever else they can land. They’re great people and it’s a pleasure to serve them.”