Ride so others can fish…

Turning Leaf Tour raises funds to send breast cancer patients to fly fishing camp

There was no fishing at the Turning Leaf Tour bicycle ride on Sunday, Oct. 24, in Townsend, but fly-casting and cancer-kicking were on the minds of the 80-plus riders who took to the roads and valley.

Turning Leaf was a multi-choice ride to benefit Casting for Recovery, a national program based in Vermont that organizes fly fishing retreats for women dealing with breast cancer. The ride raised $6,400.

Lindsay Long, program coordinator with the Casting for Recovery - East Tennessee Program, said the event went very well. “We had 101 registered riders and 84 actual riders. We raised enough money for six women to attend next year’s Casting for Recovery retreat at the Lodge at Buckberry Creek in Gatlinburg,” she said.

B&W Y-12 was presenting sponsor and CVS CareMark employees Robby Wallace and Randy Hatfield put in long hours planning the ride the 10-mile family ride as well as the 30-mile and 46-mile rides. The men work at CVS CareMark in Hardin Valley and are avid bicyclists.

“Our sponsors were absolutely wonderful, whether it was money or in-kind donation, they all reached out and helped us,” Long said. “Volunteers? I’ve got the best in the state. They’re all passionate about either biking, fly fishing or Casting for Recovery.”

Blount Today was media sponsor for the event.

Long said the $6,400 was after all expense were paid. “Our goal was 50 riders, so we surpassed our goal for our first ride,” she said.

Founded in 1996, Casting for Recovery has been offering free fly fishing retreats across the country to help women move forward in their recovery. The organization relies on local volunteers and organizations to support the community-based retreats which provide an avenue for social support and group interactions.

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