Reeling and Healing Participants

Reeling and Healing Midwest
2007 Retreat Recap

Keeps Getting Better!

It Just Keeps Getting Better!

Really, who has more fun than us?

After an absolutely spectacular 2006, we wondered how it could get any better.

Thanks to a diverse community of participants, volunteers and great supporters, it happened again.

Things started off in January with our 2nd Annual Winter Retreat at the Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, MI. Though the snow was sparse, the camaraderie was abundant.

Then we were off to host a booth at the Chicago Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo (story). Time and time again we were asked, "Why don't you do these in Wisconsin?" (it’s in the works). There were fly tying marathons and donations of over 1,000 flies from the fishing community (read) which had us on the path of fulfilling our dream to provide flies to the 2007 retreat participants. Many thanks the tyers who gave from their hearts.

Next up was our one-of-a-kind, luau-themed booth at the MFFC Fly Expo (read, read, read). We had 1,200 signature fish bead necklaces to distribute to expo attendees. They were the hit of the show! Within four hours of the first show day, half were gone! Attendees offered donations toward our retreat programs just to get their hands on one. A personal favorite quote was from a gentleman who stated, "All the guys in my fly tying club have one of those fish necklaces. Can I have one?"

The retreats were special this year. So many stories of courage, struggle and triumph brought the women to the banks of the Au Sable, Pere Marquette and Muskegon rivers. Each one, whether experiencing fly fishing for the first time at a New Participant Retreat, or enjoying an additional fishing experience at a Reunion Retreat, expressed the joy and peace the river and camaraderie provided. They are eager to pass along their experience to others and try it again. Each and every one.

Reeling & Healing Midwest touched more lives this year. Additional retreats were added, more volunteers reached out to help, more supporters lent a hand. All in an effort to reach out and assist women surviving cancer through fly fishing, the river and a community of support – the way we do it best. Only though the amazing and wonderful people who are the Reeling & Healing Midwest community will we continue our mission of renewing the spirit and hope to a community of survivors and their loved ones.

On behalf of those who participated, we extend a warm "Thank you!" to everyone who gave their time, hearts, love and support to make the retreats a reality.

With much anticipation and excitement we look towards 2008 (dates).

Some 2007 Statistics
217 Retreat Participants 6 Fishing Shows Attended
304 Volunteers & Guides 34 Presentations Made
10 Retreats 3,491 Waters, Sodas & Juices
30 Float Trips 290 Pounds of Ice (Donated!)
250+ Trout Caught & Released 54 Fish Kissed
113 Fish Caught at One Retreat 37 Bugs Inhaled
562 Flies Lost (That we know of...) 3 DNR Fisheries Biologists
37 Media Interviews 1,200+ Items in Wally's Vest
1,000,000+ Casts 67 New TU Memberships
293,647+ Hugs 2,000+ Fish Necklaces Distributed
587,294+ Smiles Brightening the World 172 Julie Gates’ Waldorf Salads
Countless Memories & Laughs 8,683 Photos Taken