Pequot Lakes High School Leadership Council to host photo contest fundraiser to help two students in need

Ice fishing catches from entire year are eligible


The Pequot Lakes High School Leadership Council will host a community-wide fundraiser, Catches for a Cause, which is a student-led fundraiser for two seniors at Pequot Lakes High School - Hunter Rowland and Abigayle Helgeland.

The photo contest fundraiser will run online from Monday, March 29, to Wednesday, April 7. The leadership council invites everyone from the Brainerd lakes area to submit a photo of their best catch from this ice fishing season, and/or to vote for the fish they think is the best.

Cost to submit a photo on the website “GoGoPhotoContest” is $10 per entry. Cost to vote is $2 per vote. There is no limit to how many times a person can vote or submit a photo. Entries with the most votes will win a prize package from local businesses.

Visit to participate.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more important than ever to show the community support for those in need.


Last December, senior Hunter Rowland was diagnosed with a malignant endocrine tumor in his chest. Because the tumor was identified early and before he started showing symptoms, the family has high hopes of success.

However, on top of Rowland’s battle, his family is experiencing the financial burden of medical treatments. Despite the struggles Rowland faces every day, he has remained optimistic and tries to find something good in every situation.

The family has received an outpouring of support from friends and family, and through this fundraiser, organizers hope to continue to show support as a community.

In February, senior Abigayle Helgeland and her family lost their home to a subzero fire. They were forced to evacuate during the middle of the night, facing dangerously low temperatures. Many of their belongings were destroyed in the fire.

Organizers hope that the funds raised can help her and her family rebuild what was lost.

The Pequot Lakes High School Leadership Council is a group that aims to create a better and more connected school culture. The council is made up of students who lead and influence in a positive way in the school. The group is diverse in leadership: leaders in academics, arts and athletics.

Not only is this a great way to connect the community during this time, but supporters can also help to lighten the financial burdens that these students are facing. By participating in this photo contest, both by entry and voting, participants are contributing to a cause as well as "catching" an opportunity to win prizes from local businesses.

For more information, visit and follow plhsleadership on Instagram and Facebook. The links to these two students' GoFundMe pages can be found on these accounts as well for those who would like to donate.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads