Retreat Season Announcement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Lise Lozelle, CfR Marketing Director firstname.lastname@example.org (406) 624-6583 x4
CfR Announces 2020 Retreat Season Cancelled
To protect the health and safety of participants and volunteers
Bozeman, MT—June 1, 2020 —Casting for Recovery (CfR), a national nonprofit organization providing fly fishing retreats for women with breast cancer at no cost, has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 retreat season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After much careful deliberation, with the support of the Casting for Recovery Board of Trustees, CEO Faye Nelson made the difficult determination that all remaining 2020 retreats will be cancelled effective on June 1.
The safety of the women we serve, and our volunteers, is our top priority. For months, the national staff, along with our medical advisors have been updating and then re-writing what would have been a checklist to ensure retreats this year would have been ironclad in terms of safety protocols against coronavirus and its spread. It was extensive to the point of which we began to doubt we could have the same impacts of past retreats with all of the precautions that would have had to be implemented. The consistent warnings of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the fall as well as in rural areas was also a factor.
“This was not easy, we know so many women with breast cancer were looking forward to and needing the hope of something normal and connected, that our retreats would have offered them,” says Faye Nelson, CfR CEO.
Making the decision to cancel now will allow the organization time to start planning for the best CfR can possibly be in 2021. Without knowing exactly what challenges the virus, testing and the availability of a vaccine will present next year, CfR retreats may not look exactly like they have, ever again.
“I have every confidence we will use this time wisely to reimagine how we do our work with the new realities,” says Nelson. “Now more than ever our focus is on securing the funding to ensure that we can hit the ground running in 2021 – connecting women in need, to each other and nature. We have reduced hours for 70% of our staff, I’ve taken a voluntary pay decrease, and we’ve made every attempt to cut other expenses. Yet, I assure you, we will continue to work hard and will use this time to address challenges within our model to secure long term stability, allowing CfR to thrive for years to come”.
Below are key initiatives Casting for Recovery will be focusing on in 2020:
- Providing participant outreach and maybe even online programming later in the year
- Developing a retreat program focused on Frontline workers
- Increasing our support and outreach to Native and African American communities that have been greatly impacted by COVID-19.
Data shows that during the pandemic, women are delaying exams and mammograms, and those that have been diagnosed are delaying follow-ups. We expect that this will sadly lead to more diagnoses later this year, resulting in even more women that can benefit from our quality of life programming.
The Casting for Recovery team is looking forward to supporting women with breast cancer in new ways this year as we pivot our programming. We will also be working hard to gear up for the 2021 retreat season, our 25th anniversary and the new normal.
Casting for Recovery® (CfR) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1996 featuring a unique program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. Their 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 with breast cancer of all ages, all stages of treatment or recovery, at no cost to the participants.