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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Casting for Recovery

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Counseling, Health, Health Care, Mental Health

Mission: The mission of Casting for Recovery (CfR) is to enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. The retreats offer opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life and experience healing connections with other women and nature. CfR’s retreats are open to women of all ages, in all stages of treatment and recovery for breast cancer, and are free to participants.

Results: Since our founding in 1998, we have conducted more than 750 retreats serving over 10,000 women across the nation. We currently offer 59 annual retreats in 42 states. 2018 post-retreat evaluations show that after attending a Casting for Recovery retreat: 99% would recommend the program to others 98% felt connected with other participants 98% gained a new support base with new friends 92% felt better able to cope with their situation 92% learned something new about living with breast cancer 98% received new ideas or resources to improve their quality of life 98% were inspired to include more outdoor activities at home (walking, mindfulness in nature, fly fishing, etc.)

Target demographics: Any woman who has received a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime.

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 600 breast cancer survivors at our retreats and many more through alumnae activities and events.

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: Healing retreats that combine breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. CfR retreats offer women respite from the challenges of living with a breast cancer diagnosis, and an opportunity to gain renewed confidence and connect with other women - all at no cost to the participants. Why fly fishing? The casting motion of fly fishing is similar to exercises physicians prescribe for women following surgery or radiation for breast cancer, thus promoting soft tissue stretching.

Community Stories

131 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

CfR is a game changer! 14 breast cancer survivors of all stages and ages come together and experience therapeutic fly fishing. Each is supported with breast cancer education during a two and a half day retreat. I am one of the 70 % of women who shied away from any support groups, not wanting to talk about it. The depression followed and years of anxiety passed. I was encouraged to apply to CfR by another survivor who had experienced it. I'm living again! I was just existing now I am truly living. One on one support, group support and an amazing location. I learned more about living with breast cancer in those 2 1/2 days, than I did in 4 years. (And I caught a few fish too!) Worthwhile organization to contribute to or volunteer for. castingforrecovery.org

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in a Casting for Recovery retreat for women with breast cancer. It was a great experience. It was so therapeutic to be away from the daily grind ... and the drugs and the treatments and the insurance billing hassles...and get to spend some time in nature with the phenomenal support of this great group of women. I am so grateful for their work and heartily endorse their efforts and their organization.

1 Karen H.16

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last weekend I participated in CfR Kenai, Alaska’s retreat. It was fabulous. They treated us like princesses and the staff were so caring and fun! I feel a big lift in my spirits as I carry on my recovery. Thank you, CfR Kenai for a very special time.

Jolynne H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a terrific experience I had volunteering with this group. So well organized and full of joy. Casting for recovery does so much good toward healing the body and soul.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fantastic program for women facing breast cancer focussing on the physical, the emotional and the fun.

Karyn Chase C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was selected to attend CfR in Maine this past July - four years out from my journey. It was an incredible experience , meeting total strangers who all share the same diagnosis. We carpooled for a 6-hour journey and became life-long friends. It was definitely a life-changing experience that I share with all women afflicted with this diagnosis. Your program does more for these women than you realize. I have already submitted my volunteer application for 2020 and will continue my efforts in fundraising events for this incredible organization! Thank you for all that you do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was privileged to attend the Washington 2012 retreat. I was incredibly impressed with the program and the volunteers. I especially appreciated the two support sessions. In fact I was so impressed with the retreat that I volunteered to be the state coordinator. I remain committed to supporting Casting for Recovery .

Michael Anne L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in a Casting for Recovery retreat as a breast cancer survivor in 2007, at no cost to myself, and found the support of the everyone involved enormously beneficial. While learning a new skill each of us had a chance to share and learn from each other. Since then I have helped out with community outreach when I can. Casting for Recovery is a wonderful organization -- lean and mission-driven -- with wonderful volunteer leadership in the regions.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was the best weekend I've had since diagnosis. I learned a lot, met some incredible women who volunteered their time and efforts to help other women like me. I was scared and nervous and anxiout about fly fishing, which I've never done, and their patience and teaching were perfect. It was a weekend of getting support, nice pampering gifts, and lots of love and friendship, from both the participants as well as the retreat leaders. I can't recommend them highly enough, and I thank them for all they do.

Donor

Rating: 5

We are proud to assist this fine organization. We have met many dedicated, sincere, passionate volunteers whose only mission is to mitigate the struggles of those facing breast cancer.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am what so many of the Casting for Recovery volunteers are: a past participant. Our ranks are many. Those of us who have attended a CFR retreat and subsequently volunteer have been so positively affected by our experiences at the retreats that we are deeply committed to CFR and to its mission of providing the best experience possible to our breast cancer sisters. Fourteen years after attending the first CFR retreat in Texas, I am still volunteering and promoting the retreats. Through this time, CFR has continued to evolve and improve and I am proud to have been associated with it.

1 Wendy Newhouse G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Casting for recovery is a welcoming, caring group that emerges women who have at present or past breast cancer into a full weekend of companionship, discussions, support for this life altering disease. The result of 3 days together we gain new insights, new friendships and fly fishing experience and fun. Amid the laughter and gatherings together the team at Casting for Recovery is ready night and day to care , share , guide and love the 14 women in the group. The experiences shared are enriching, organized, personalized and so enjoyable. Look for a local group of "Casting to Recovery". As they say, you will be glad you did!!!!! 2019 NH Participant

1 Keeli A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had one of the best weekends of my life at Casting for Recovery. It is exactly what I needed....to connect with ladies that know my struggle all to well and to spend time in nature. I can not recommend this organization enough!

1 Ammie J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Casting for Recovery is most definitely a healing retreat. As a survivor, the weekend spent in nature, listening to the river, learning to fly-fish was so relaxing and provided a sense of peace that I have forgotten existed since my diagnosis. Everyone on staff from the organizers, host lodge, instructors and medical team was so supportive and attentive to any need a participant had. The opportunity to openly discuss health concerns with the medical team and share experiences with others in similar situations in a beautiful atmosphere was just amazing. The fly fishing instructors were so kind and generous in teaching their craft, that I felt like a child tying my first knot. And the day on the river with a personal fly instructor was icing on the cake. To have someone teach, help, guide and encourage me on the river was a pure joy. The generosity of Casting for Recovery and its supporters provides a valuable and healing experience to breast cancer patients. I'm grateful to have been apart of this unique retreat.

2 Mary R.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience at my Casting for Recovery retreat. I'm still in shock that it was all at no cost to me or other participants. The staff and volunteers went so far above and beyond all of my expectations and saw to it that all of the participants had an amazing experience that will never be forgotten. It was a life altering retreat and I've made friends for life. I can't thank them enough!

2 Karen Fish H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Casting for recovery caught my attention, and I have become a participant and forever a supporter. What a wonderful organization.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Colorado CFR for the past 12 years, I have watched this amazing organization grow into the true resource and healing opportunity for women who have had a breast cancer diagnosis. I have been honored to graduate from a mere half day guide volunteer to a retreat fly fishing instructor, and even with our busy lives, there truly is nothing I'd rather do on a weekend than to contribute to and experience what CFR provides to these women. Ultimately, it's based around fishing, but it's not about fishing. Ultimately, it is the power of nature and camaraderie - tough to explain, but we all experience it in our souls. CFR is able to have a great program because it gives so much back to volunteers, so that when money must be spent, it goes directly to the things necessary to benefit participants. It changes lies of participants, yes, and also the lives of volunteers. Keep up the good work.

2 Sandy T.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering for CfR after I was diagnosed, and learned there was not a program in my home state. It is a remarkable organization top to bottom. The focus from the National office in supporting all of the local programs, and the comraderie between local programs - to constantly improve and grow to benefit survivors and create the best experience possible is amazing to be part of. Truly, Nature Heals.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

June 1, 2018 is the day that I showed up to the Casting for Recovery retreat and my life has not been the same since then! The staff and volunteers and gracious hospitality set the perfect stage for 14 women to relax, enjoy, engage, laugh, and learn about ourselves, each other, and the glorious sport of fly fishing. The gifts of new friendships and a new sport and a new sense of post cancer self keep giving. It was simply put a magical weekend which keeps on giving. Thank you CFR!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently went on a weekend retreat for cancer patients/survivors that was put on by Casting for Recovery. This was a life-changing event. It was a wonderful retreat, at a wonderful location with wonderful support for the participants. It was one of the greatest experiences I've had and it really lifted my spirits and gave me life long friends that are making my diagnosis much easier to handle and it was all done at no cost to me because Casting for Recovery not only organized the whole retreat, they volunteered their time and paid for everything. It was truly amazing!

2 Jeni M.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a survivor - and they have offered me a 3 day fly fishing escape to treat myself to nature and nurture my wounds.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Had the most wonderful experience during this journey with amazing women. The staff of Casting for Recovery had so much compassion and caring for all of us at the retreat. From the moment you arrive you are treated like family. While learning a new sport of fly fishing, you get to bond with nature. Such a great group of volunteers that make you love living after a cancer diagnosis. Mine was at Altmar, NY retreat in June 2018

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Casting for Recovery does an awesome job at loving women who've experienced, or are going through breast cancer and it's treatment. Fly fishing believed it or not, is very gentle, to the arm and shoulder. The ladies who run the retreat are loving, always looking out for the well-fare of the participants. You learn to handle a fly rod, how to cast effectively, what fish eat--aka bugs, etc. You get to experience what it's like to wear waders--which allows you to get INTO the water and stay dry. You are assigned a River Guide who teaches you even more about fly fishing, they help you keep your balance so you don't fall in, they will even help you take the fish you catch off the hock. Bottom-line, it's work the drive, 2 1/2 days away, the memories you establish and the new friends you make.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had been a 10 year survivor the year I attending the CFR retreat in VT. What a great experience even though I am still learning the fly fishing technique. Just listening to the other participants share their stories made me look back at my breast cancer experience making me feel so blessed to be alive. I met some wonderful people at the retreat and now try to help in anyway I can so others may have the same experience.
CFR really made me feel that they care for everyone and did their best to make sure we all had a great time. This year I will be going fly fishing with my son. Thanks to CFR for great memories that will last forever!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered as a river helper for Casting for Recovery for all of the retreats held in Georgia. Some may argue that I am simply a “captive volunteer”, as my wife, Beverly, is the Georgia Program Coordinator, but that is not the case. Beverly is a breast cancer survivor and attended a North Carolina retreat in 2004. She has volunteered for the program ever since that date and I have witnessed the tremendous benefit she has experienced from her involvement. It has enriched her life and I simply want to do all that I can to help. CFR attracts some remarkable volunteers and in our travels and in working with the program I have been impressed with those I have met. The majority of my volunteer time is spent assisting Beverly with getting the word out about the program, with fund raising events and also attending fly fishing shows and events on behalf of the Georgia program. By far the most rewarding aspect of volunteering is seeing the brave women at the retreat while they are fishing and as a river helper, that more than justifies the time I devote to helping.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered as a river helper for Casting for Recovery for all of the retreats held in Georgia. Some may argue that I am simply a “captive volunteer”, as my wife, Beverly, is the Georgia Program Coordinator, but that is not the case. Beverly is a breast cancer survivor and attended a North Carolina retreat in 2004. She has volunteered for the program ever since that date and I have witnessed the tremendous benefit she has experienced from her involvement. It has enriched her life and I simply want to do all that I can to help. CfR attracts some remarkable volunteers and in our travels and in working with the program I have been impressed with those I have met. The majority of my volunteer time is spent assisting Beverly with getting the word out about the program, with fund raising events and also attending fly fishing shows and events on behalf of the Georgia program. By far the most rewarding aspect of volunteering is seeing the brave women at the retreat while they are fishing and as a river helper, that more than justifies the time I devote to helping.

Lamar Booth

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a medical facilitator with CFR for several years now . I feel so honored to be apart of this amazing effort to support women during their journey through breast cancer. I ALWAYS leave with much more than I give. CFR makes such an impact with the participants who attend these retreats across the country. I'm hoping for many more!

1 Joselyn H. W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Stage 3b breast cancer. After surgery, chemo, radiation, hair loss, and much more I was not the same woman as before the diagnosis. Luckily, I discovered CfR on the Susan G. Komen website and just kept digging. I was looking for something to bring "me" back. I had a fantastic support group during my treatment but afterwards I was feeling that I was supposed to be "over it". Well, you are never over it once you've had cancer. As you all have read, it is a life changing/recovery of oneself weekend! So healing. So life altering in a fantastic way. I asked to be included as a volunteer the next year and was given the honor of a position. Being a seamstress, the actual goodie bags they had that year were not up to my standards. The contents were amazing, but the bag was lacking. So I volunteered to make bags the next year and now I am on my 4th year as the bag lady and volunteer! As I sew each of the 14 bags I think of my journey and the ladies who will receive this bag full of love and hope. Now in January I begin the countdown to the CfR weekend with the Central/West TN gals! This nonprofit is the finest experience I have ever been affiliated with! It is a labor of love all year long preparing and executing the program. But so fulfilling for all on Sunday!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended last spring. I’m four years post bilateral mastectomy From breast cancer. The fishing was great. But the emotional support and sisterhood was AMAZING! This weekend was so healing, Fisher woman or not! Every breast cancer patient should try to attend!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I’ve seen first hand the benefits this organization provides for women. I had the pleasure of spending some time with a survivor,and now, avid angler. She speaks nothing but blessing about this organization. It’s gives adventure, community, and hope. That’s the gift CFR provides. I’m glad to know what this organization is all about and to be a part of it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This will be my 10th year participating in CFR. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than sharing the love with others.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Breast Cancer cuts through ethnicity, cultural differences, and age as does Casting for Recovery. Through a CFR retreat, I was connected with other women who intimately and immediately knew what I had endured during my lengthy breast cancer treatment. In “the knowing” there was emotional healing as we talked through changes we now must live with after treatment. We shared and laughed at the silly stories and misadventures that occurred in a safe haven with counselors and medical staff available when support was needed. I realized that I was not alone; it was not just “about me”. I discovered role models encouraging acceptance and taking charge of who I am now. I saw other survivors enjoy life, laugh while learning to fly fish (something new that keeps me stretching), reach out, and encourage. In just one weekend I experienced a high quality, joyful life, despite cancer, and I realized it was time to begin again.

The beauty of the Absaroka Mountains and the retreat’s distance from everyday life offered the opportunity for spiritual growth, as well. Pampered in a comfortable cabin, with wonderful meals served during open conversation with knowledgeable and compassionate staff, and new “sisters”, was a needed difference from home. There was time and space, just for me, to come to terms with my physical and emotional journey, to be wrapped in peace and find courage to begin again when I left the retreat.

Now, as a support staff member, I continue to be part of creating the CFR retreat opportunity for breast cancer sisters yet to come. I am part of helping gals take a break in their breast cancer journey to learn to fly fish (and laugh a little), to stretch physically and mentally, and perhaps, to lend an ear as someone who intimately knows what they’re going through. Casting for Recovery gives me a place to reach out to others with hope and encouragement to make a new beginning after breast cancer.
With heartfelt thanks,
Mary Roberson

Andi B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing nonprofit that changes the lives. I am a volunteer with CFR for the past 8 years. I have seen women who are isolated in their breast cancer experience renew their zest and hope. The organization is highly dependent on trained, dedicated volunteers and donations to in order to be able to offer the retreats for no cost to participants.
It's amazing!

Monica H.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the wonderful opportunity of being selected as a participate in the all-expense paid weekend retreat with Casting For Recovery in May 2016, North Fork Ranch, CO. The accommodations at the North Fork Ranch are 5 star. The Casting For Recovery Staff were well prepared for the 14 participants starting at our arrival on Friday through our last day on Sunday fishing on the river. During the weekend I was taught how to fly fish; including knot tying, casting, basic fish anatomy and the life cycle of bugs - all hands on and with visuals. The health and wellness sessions were equally enlightening and allowed participants to share at their own comfort level.

I am now a fly fisher and a fly tier. Getting out on the water allows me to be at peace and renew my spirit.

Casting for Recovery changed my life!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The most rewarding volunteering I have been involved with. So many women helped at a dark time in their lives. Watching their excitement and positive outlook gives me more than anything I can imagine. Now having breast cancer myself, I look to give even more.