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DuWayne Sonnenberg to retire from Hoot's Sports

This Friday and Saturday the public is invited to stop by Hoot's Sports to wish longtime employee DuWayne Sonnenberg well on his retirement. The open house, which will run from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., June 5 and 6, will include cake and coffee.

"I hope some of my customers do stop in," says Sonnenberg. "I know I might not get a chance to see a lot of them again."

Sonnenberg officially retired from the marine business last week, after working there since the mid-90's. He started working at Hoot's when the business was still under the original ownership. Prior to joining up with Hoot's Sports in Perham, Sonnenberg worked in sales.

After working six days a week in the business for many years, Sonnenberg is looking forward to retirement. "I consider myself very blessed to be able to retire at this time," he says. "This will give me a chance to go to my grandkids' ballgames."

He plans on keeping himself busy, and says there's no way he's just going to sit down and do nothing. He is anticipating more time for gardening and fishing, and wants to participate in fishing tournaments.

Sonnenberg and his wife Marilyn live south of New York Mills. Marilyn works as an RN at Perham Memorial Hospital and Home.

Even though he's excited to spend more time with his family, there are several things Sonnenberg says he'll miss about working at Hoot's. "I'm going to miss working with the wonderful crew down there," he comments. "Some of those guys have been with me for many years. I'm going to miss the customers too."

Looking back on his years of experience in the marine business, Sonnenberg is impressed with Hoot's resiliency even during the current economic downturn.

"The marine industry is a roller coaster ride," he explains. "I've seen it at the low and at the high. All of the years I've been with Hoot's, we've never had a bad year. We're always selling boats."

Ever the salesman, Sonnenberg encourages the public to stop by his open house, saying, "You may even be able to buy a boat from DuWayne for the last time."