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Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic distributes more than $46,000 to community

The Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic distributed $46,782 on Sept. 19 to 10 different charitable beneficiaries. Submitted photo.

BEMIDJI—The Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic, a competitive, live-release walleye-fishing tournament presented by Acme Tools, Milwaukee Tools, and Honda Power Equipment, was held June 10 on Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving. One hundred two-person teams competed for more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. The 2017 Classic was won by Harold Johnson and Marv Sandbek.

The tournament was a continuation of the 16-year tradition, which began as the Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic. Kraus-Anderson handed management of the tournament over to the Knights of Columbus in the fall of 2015.

On Sept. 19, The Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic distributed $46,782 to 10 different charitable beneficiaries, an increase of nearly $9,000 over the previous year. Tournament revenues were earned through tournament entry fees, sponsorships, donations, and the annual raffle sponsored by Corner Sports, Lund, and Mercury.

Multiple beneficiary organizations support the tournament by providing thousands of hours of volunteer service toward event planning, raffle ticket sales, and tournament operations. They include Bemidji Youth League Baseball, Wounded Warrior Guide Service, Bemidji Area Special Olympics, Fishing Has No Boundaries, Let's Go Fishing, Take A Kid Fishing, Bemidji Boy Scouts, George Pelawa Foundation, DNR Fisheries, and Knights of Columbus Council #1544.

Over its 17-year tournament history, the Kraus Anderson/Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic has distributed a total of $694,528 to community causes. The 2018 tournament will be held June 9.

For more information, contact tournament director Joe Czapiewski at (218) 556-3651, email or visit