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Al's Musky Challenge raises over $100K for local nonprofits and to honor friend

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Al Louis displays a musky caught during this year’s campaign

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - More than $100,000 was raised for four local nonprofit organizations thanks to the efforts of La Crosse business owner and Rotary member Al Louis. 

In its third year, Al's Musky Challenge was more special this year as Louis dedicated his fishing to his friend and mentor David Amborn, who inspired Louis to begin the fundraiser with the support of the Rotary Club of Downtown La Crosse. Amborn passed away in February. 

"I wanted to pay tribute to David and all he meant to me and our community by supporting these non-profit organizations that meant a lot to him," Louis said. “David often said ‘let’s do it for the kids.’ This year, we added ‘let’s do it for David.’”

Louis fished Lake Vermilion in Minnesota, where his catch included nine muskies including a new personal best for him of 54.25 inches. 

Besides a personal donation, Louis gathered contributions from fellow Rotary members, local businesses, and others in the community. 

The funds raised by Al's Musky Challenge goes to four local organizations: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, the Children's Museum of La Crosse, Coulee Recovery Center, and the La Crosse Community Theater. All four were special to his friend Amborn. 

A special check presentation event is scheduled for Friday at noon at Riverside Park by the Riverside International Friendship Gardens.