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It all started with an idea . . .

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It all started with a suggestion from Lion Rob.

Lionel Robert, owner of Lion Rob tournament services and longtime emcee of the FFCBC and Rainy River derbies, approached the Emo Chamber of Commerce several months ago about starting a walleye tournament in Emo.

“We thought about it for a while and thought it was a good idea,” said Emo Chamber of Commerce president Colleen Vennechenko.

Ideas for the event translated to big prizes—more than $20,000 for both the raffle and tournament winners.

Emo Reeve Russ Fortier thinks the town and the Chamber are moving in the right direction. “The walleye tournament will be great for the district,” he said.

Marketing of such events has helped Emo’s name get out in the district and across the border.

Emo council also threw its support behind the first-annual Emo Walleye Classic tournament. The tournament committee asked that the tournament be considered a community event and Emo council happily agreed.

“I think it’s going to be a great event for our community,” said Reeve Fortier.

Vennechenko agreed.

“I think it’s going to be great, I can’t wait for next year,” she laughed. “Hopefully, people will plan an extended vacation and stay even longer next year.

“I think it’ll be good for local businesses.”

The district’s newest live-release tournament will take place on the Rainy River on May 31 and June 1, with a boat parade kicking off the event tomorrow (May 30) starting on Front Street.

Robert will host the Emo Walleye Classic.

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