Lake Dedicated to Veteran Fishing Trips Receives Large Donation

Legacy Lake was Born Back in 2009 After the Land was Purchased by Local Businessman Larry Schanno

FINLAND, Minn. – This October marks 30 years since the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay first opened its doors.

Since then, hundreds of residents have resided there, experiencing events and opportunities with the close community inside.

One summer activity takes the cake, year after year.

“Got a big one! Oh, I lost him,” said Frank Stella, a retired U.S. Army veteran.

It’s a favorite pastime surrounded by peace and tranquility.

“Last time I caught a really big one! It was just a few ounces under five pounds,” said Stella.

Fishing for these veterans serves as an escape – a sense of normalcy from years ago.

“Oh, I really enjoy it! I look forward to it every week,” said Stella.

For 91-year-old Stella, casting a line is something he loves.

“I can’t describe it, it’s so good, it’s so nice,” said Stella.

“Larry had a soft spot for veterans,” said Rick Iszler, a member on the board of directors for Legacy Lake.

Legacy Lake, located in Finland, lands a special spot in the hearts of these veterans and volunteers.

“It’s a labor of love,” said Iszler.

What started back in 2008 by local business owner Larry Schanno, evolved into digging a pond that would become a little lake and today’s legacy of the late landowner.

“I don’t know who gets the most benefit, hopefully, the veterans do, but I find a lot of smiles with all the volunteers,” said Iszler.

Sadly, Schanno passed back in March of 2017.

“It’s because of people like Bob, Rick, and Diane and the volunteers that really make this happen,” said Dick Morris with Masonic Taconite Lodge #342.

These fine folks have since taken over the responsibility, recently making contact with Mason’s Taconite Lodge #342 in Silver Bay.

“I came along and asked Bob if there was anything Taconite Lodge could do to help him with Legacy Lake,” said Morris.

There happened to be one thing the Masons could help with to make this memorable experience more easily accessible.

“We used to back the bus up on the very uneven ground. It was rocky, muddy, uneven terrain,” said Joyce Scott, a former employee at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay.

After more than $11,000 was raised by the Mason’s over the past year-and-a-half, a blacktop trail now makes this adventure safer and more enjoyable for all.

05:26 – “This, coming out to Legacy Lake has truly been one of the best activities we take the vets to for the past years and years,” said Scott.

Although this happened to be the final outing of the season, these former servicemen and women will spend the winter waiting patiently for that first cast come spring.

“We have a waiting list because everybody wants to do it,” said Scott.

Stella exclaimed, “I love it here!”

The pond is stocked annually with rainbow trout.

While many of the fish are caught and released, they do keep a few, which are eventually smoked for the vets by a local along the North Shore.

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