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More than ice fishing: tournament combines sport with human trafficking awareness

Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 4:08 PM CST
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -Another weekend brings another ice fishing tournament to the Chippewa Valley.

Saturday’s tournament at Lake Altoona was a first for Fierce Freedom.

The organization which works to raise awareness of modern day exploitation and slavery in the Chippewa Valley worked together with Leadership Eau Claire to put on its first ice fishing event in hopes of reaching a new audience.

“We decided to do something a little different and reach a different demographic which is why we planned the ice fishing tournament and then of course we don’t have to worry about Covid,” said Stephanie Pohnl with Leadership Eau Claire. “We can keep people spaced and independent throughout the event.”

Cat Jacoby with Fierce Freedom said this is a great way to help inform people about human trafficking and slavery.

“The fact is is that people are sold out of ice shacks actually they’re sold out of RVs and campers and the average price to buy a person in this area is around $150 an hour,” Jacoby said. “It is very real, and I want people to be educated.”

Nearly 100 people hit the ice to be a part of Saturday’s fundraiser.

The event raised over $4,000 for Fierce Freedom. The group plans to carry on this event in the following years.

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