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Casting for Recovery Spey-O-Rama Pledge Drive

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, March 02, 2016

I received the following from my good friend and Spey casting rockstar, Mia Sheppard. Mia is getting ready to rep the Great Northwest at the 2016 Spey-O-Rama and at the same time raise some money for a cause we both believe in. CFR does great work and I'm proud to be a supporter. A big tip of the hat to Mia and Whitney Gould for their efforts for CFR and best of luck at Spey-O-Rama! You go girls!

Help Give Hope by Supporting Casting for Recovery via Spey Casting Competition

About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime; this is a startling statistic. Last year I found a way to help women dealing with breast cancer as a volunteer for the Casting for Recovery (CFR) retreat in my home state of Oregon. CFR is a national non-profit support and educational program for women of all ages and in all stages of breast cancer. It provides retreats at no cost to participants, which allow women whose lives have been profoundly affected by breast cancer to gather in a beautiful, natural setting and learn to fly fish.

At the retreat I witnessed a program that brought hope, gratitude, peace, inspiration, encouragement, and strength to women recovering from breast cancer. Volunteers that love to fly-fish taught participants how to cast and tie basic knots, what fish eat and also how to land a fish. I walked away inspired and fired up to once again use my spey casting skills to raise money for Casting for Recovery (CFR). I called GWWF member, Rebecca Blair who had helped me with logistics the previous years and asked if she could help again and without hesitation she gladly volunteered. Also, past Spey-O-Rama champion, Whitney Gould will be teaming with us to increase awareness and raise money for Casting for Recovery. On the weekend of April 22-24, 2016, we will compete in the Jimmy Green International Spey-O-Rama (SOR), in San Francisco to raise money for Northern Oregon and Northern Cal CFR retreats.

SOR is a distance casting competition with a double handed rod. It’s a wonderful time with an atmosphere of fun; participants travel from counties such as Canada, Norway, Scotland and all across the USA. It’s always an enjoyable event involving serious doses of both learning and camaraderie, and in typical San Francisco fashion, you never know what you’ll see. There are numerous displays of hand crafted spey rods and artful demonstrations of two handed casting in the casting arena. It’s a great time to come and get a dose of spey casting with two handed rods.
Here's how the SOR CFR pledge drive works.  You determine what you think the longest cast will be for Mia and for Whitney and then make a pledge based on that combined total feet. For example, if both Whitney and Mia have a longest cast of 130 feet (total =260 feet) and you donate $1.00/foot then you will donate $260.00 to CFR. Donations raised will be split 50/50 between Northern CA and Northern Oregon CFRs.

The person that comes closest to guessing the distance of Mia and Whitney’s combined longest cast will win a guided trip by Little Creek Outfitters  on the Sandy River. The person with the second closest guess will receive a two hour casting lesson from Whitney . In addition, people making pledges above a certain amount will be entered in a raffle to win items including a Simms Fishing Pack, an Echo fly rod and a Nautilus Reel.
To make a pledge go to this link or call Mia Sheppard at 541-419-2105 for more information. Results will be posted on the IWFF Facebook page near the end of April.

As a river helper at Northern Oregon retreat I was a part of a bigger picture. It wasn’t about how many fish you catch or how big the fish are. It’s about being a part of a community that brings hope, inspiration, strength and joy to a woman recovering from a challenging disease. You can help encourage someone to make another cast or walk the extra distance and beat breast cancer. This is what Casting for Recovery is about and why your support matters.

Thanks for your support,
Mia Sheppard

This is Mia’s fifth year using her spey casting skills to raise money for CFR. She couldn’t have made it happen without the undivided help from GWWF member, Rebecca Blair and other CFR volunteers. In 2013, she won the women’s division and in 2014 she had the longest women’s cast at 144 ft. She also has personal experience losing a loved one to cancer. Per Mia “When my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I saw firsthand how cancer deteriorates a person’s attitude and life. She fought for her life by receiving radiation treatments, chemotherapy and surgery. She lost weight, experienced pain I can’t imagine and through that time, found strength in riding her Ducati across the country. It’s encouraging to experience a program like CFR that helps woman gain confidence and strength.”

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