By ERIK SANDIN – Stillwater Gazette
LAKE ELMO – Thin ice conditions on Lake Jane forced the Lake Elmo Lions Club to cancel their annual ice fishing contest, a club spokesman said today.
Diane Knoll said when the club was planning to apply for a state Department of Natural Resources permit a month ago, ice conditions on the lake were not safe.
"You have to submit a permit a month before your contest," she said. "A month ago, it was not safe."
The 55th annual Lake Elmo Lions Club ice-fishing contest was scheduled for Sunday on Lake Jane. However, Knoll said the club is selling tickets for the $1,000 cash drawing held at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Lions Park across from the Lake Elmo Fire department at 3510 Laverne Ave.
Tickets for the $1,000 drawing are $4 and available at Lake Elmo Oil, Lake Elmo Barber Shop, Lake Elmo Inn, Hagberg’s, Twin Point Tavern and The Lake Elmo Bank and at Blue Ribbon Bait and Meister’s in Stillwater.
Event co-chair Dave Leikam encourages everyone to purchase tickets to ensure continued support to deserving local programs.
Knoll said it is not the first time unsafe ice conditions have prevented the fishing contest. But she adds that cancellation will hurt the club’s fundraising.
"This is not the first time this has happened," she said about the cancellation. "It’s so sad because we raise close to $10,000. It’s going to affect us in how much we give back to the community. You lose that momentum when you don’t have (the event). "It’s kind of sad, but it’s out of our control."
For more than 50 years, Lake Elmo Lions Club volunteers have been involved in a variety of projects important to the needs of the community. Interested adults are welcome to visit future 6 p.m. meetings held on the first and third Monday’s of each month at Gorman’s restaurant.