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Fishing: WCCO's Mona to speak at Elks Fishing Fling

Dave Mona, co-host of WCCO-Radio's "Sunday Morning Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave," will be the speaker at the annual Brainerd Elks Fishing Fling May 3 at the Brainerd National Guard Armory, 1115 Wright St.

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Dave Mona, co-host of WCCO-Radio's "Sunday Morning Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave," will be the speaker at the annual Brainerd Elks Fishing Fling May 3 at the Brainerd National Guard Armory, 1115 Wright St.

Tickets are $60 each. Contact any Brainerd Elks member or call the Elks Lodge at 218-829-2643 after 3 p.m. Only 275 tickets will be sold.

The meal will be a choice of prime rib or chicken supreme. Social hour is at 5 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. and the program and prizes at 8 p.m.

Prizes include:

โ€ข 2-day/3-night trip for four to Voyagaire Lodge on Crane Lake

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โ€ข Aluminum utility trailer from Brainerd Recreation Supply

โ€ข $500 gift certificate to Cub Foods

โ€ข Gopher football weekend including lodging

โ€ข Gull Lake dinner cruise for four from Destiny Cruises

โ€ข Guided fishing trip with Glen Belgum

โ€ข Rods, reels, tackle boxes, framed prints, coolers and other sports equipment will be given away.

Mona was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame in 2013, the year he retired from the public relations firm he started 30 years earlier. He remains a senior consultant to the firm.

He is a 40-year veteran of corporate and agency public relations. He has also worked in print and broadcast journalism, including television and radio. In addition, he has been a leader in numerous civic, charitable and educational organizations.

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In 1981, Mona founded Mona Meyer McGrath & Gavin (MMM&G), a Twin Cities public relations agency that grew to 65 employees in seven years. He was named "Small Business Person of the Year" by the city of Bloomington in 1987.

That year the agency was named to the Inc. 500, a list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. MMM&G appeared on the list again in 1988, the same year the firm was acquired by London-based Shandwick. Today, the Weber Shandwick office has more than 150 professionals serving a variety of clients regionally, nationally and internationally.

A Minnesota native, Mona began his journalism career as a reporter for WCCO-TV (CBS/Minneapolis). While there he served as editor of "Dave Moore's Bedtime Nooz." Three years later, he joined the staff of the Minneapolis Tribune, where he worked as a reporter and editor for five years, winning regional and national awards for his feature and sports writing.

After leaving the newspaper, he worked for 10 years in corporate public relations, first as director of public relations for International Multifoods Corp., then as vice president-communications for The Toro Co., both Fortune 500 firms.

A frequent speaker and nationally published writer, Mona has been active in many high-profile regional events. He was instrumental in bringing the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four to Minnesota in 1992. He was on the executive committee for both efforts, and was the Minnesota state chairman of the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay.

He and his wife, Linda, co-chaired the 2008 U.S. Women's Open golf championship at Interlachen Country Club in suburban Minneapolis. Dave was also co-chair of the 2015 U.S. Senior Games in Minnesota.

Mona has served as the national president of the Council of Growing Companies and was the 1995 recipient of the council's prestigious "Bootstrap Award" for his contributions to entrepreneurism.

In 1999, he served as the national president of the 60,000-member University of Minnesota Alumni Association. In 2000, he was board chair of the Greater Minneapolis Area Chamber of Commerce and chaired the Board of Meet Minneapolis, the region's convention and visitor's bureau, from 2005-2007.

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He also chairs the Minnesota Vikings Children's Fund, the Twin Cities Dunkers breakfast club and is on the boards of VocalEssence, Minnesota State Fair Foundation and Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau.

For the past 34 years, he has co-hosted the WCCO Radio "Sports Huddle," the top-rated sports talk show in the region. In 2005, he received Associated Press and Edward R. Murrow Awards for his work as 14-year color analyst on WCCO Radio broadcasts of University of Minnesota football games.

His book, "Beyond the Sports Huddle: Mona on Minnesota," became a regional bestseller in 2008.

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