Casting 4 A Cure (www.casting4acure.com) is a certified 501c3 non-profit corporation made up of compadres and compatriots who fly fish and fundraise to help fund research and family support for a rare and debilitating neurological disorder called Rett Syndrome (RS). During the past two years, Casting 4 A Cure has donated over $100,000 to help benefit the International Rett Syndrome Foundation to fund critical genetic research and fund family support initiatives. “Our goal is to raise $1M by 2015 and have a cure in hand by 2020. Lofty goals, but we have the people with the passion to make it happen.” Says Bill Farnum, Executive Director of Casting 4 A Cure. Casting 4 A Cure events are currently held in Steamboat Springs, CO and Victor, ID with new locations to be announced for future events.
“I started Casting 4 A Cure in 2008, after our then 3 year old daughter, Ella, was diagnosed with RS. Casting 4 A Cure was born out of passion; passion to help the children and families who are affected by this cruel disorder; passion for raising awareness to the masses about Rett Syndrome and passion for the sport of fly-fishing and for friendships built on the water. Not to mention the unwavering belief that we will find a cure,“ says Bill Farnum.
The first Casting 4 A Cure Tournament was held in July, 2008 with 12 participants. Just two short years later, the tournament will have close to 40 participants in 2010. Proceeds from the weekend’s events will benefit The International Rett Syndrome Foundation to fund Rett Syndrome research and family support.
As part of this year’s event, we will be hosting a “Casting 4 A Cure Community Party” at the Steamboat Gondola Village on Saturday July 31 at 6PM. The event is open to the public and will include live music by the Boulder based blues/rock band Interstate Stash Express. There will also be door prizes including K2 skis, Sage fly rods, and much more!
Over the past two years, Casting 4 A Cure has teamed up with some of the finest companies in the fly-fishing and outdoor industries, including Sage Manufacturing, Fishpond USA, Scott Fly Rods, Patagonia and Kaenon. The local Steamboat community has also been fantastic with support from great local companies including the Steamboat Grand Hotel, The Steamboat Fly Fisher, Marabou Ranch, Big Agnes, SmartWool, and Honey Stinger. We also have Fortune 500 companies like Coca Cola, Miller/Coors, and Nike involved. “These companies support us not only with great products and prizes for our attendees, but they have taken on the cause like it is their own,” Farnum says.
The tournament utilizes some of the best private fly fishing waters in the West, with local ranchers and landowners allowing the participants to fish on their water for the weekend. “The ranch owners like Jeff Temple of Marabou Ranch and Mark Foster, as well as generous support from the Rocky Mtn Angling Club are key to our success and we are incredibly grateful to them for their partnership.”
The tournament‘s participants come from all over the Western United States; Oregon, Colorado, Montana, Utah, California, Idaho, Washington and British Columbia. They come to the events loaded with their gear and their fishing prowess but leave with much more. Attendees develop new friendships and business contacts, get the chance to fish some of the best water in the West, while all the time gaining a greater understanding of how families who are affected by this and other neurological disorders cope and do their best to overcome steep obstacles in their daily lives.
We have received substantial media coverage over the past two years with articles in 14 newspapers, and television interviews on CBS, numerous radio interviews, and dozens of fly fishing industry blog postings supporting our events and the sponsors. We have also partnered with Fishbite Media, (www.fishbitemedia.com) a fly fishing focused media communications company, in developing a 30 minute documentary around Casting 4 A Cure, highlighting the events and our efforts. A :60 spot was featured at all of the 2010 stops on the Fly Fishing Film Tour (0ver 100 cities and reaching 12,000 viewers) as part of our fundraising efforts.
“We are incredibly excited to see how so many great people and companies in the Steamboat community have embraced our efforts to find a cure for Rett Syndrome. We could not do this without their help and we truly appreciate their time and efforts to help wipe out this awful disorder.“