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Tie-a-thon Report

The 16th Annual Tie-a-thon at the Elkhart Conservation Club in Indiana produced thousands of flies to be donated to a group that helps women recovering from breast cancer.

About 40 people gathered to finish flies, socialize, and enjoy a fabulous gourmet lunch. Nearly 35,000 flies were pledged to this year’s event and about 33,000 were in house. The flies will be donated to Casting for Recovery (CfR) Indiana and Michigan for use at future retreats for women recovering from breast cancer. 

Representatives from CfR Indiana and Michigan were on hand to enjoy the day and receive the flies. Co-coordinator Karen O’Briant commented, “I’m blown away by the effort and generosity of the strangers and friends in the fly tying community.”

This year’s flies were donated in the memory of long time fly tier Bob Smith. Bob and Mary Smith founded CfR Indiana in 2003 and have been organizing 2-3 retreats per year. Bob passed away this past year and Mary has since passed the reins to Tracy and Wayne Woods. She and other organizers, Barbara Simpson and Penny Myers, are carrying on and/or assisting with new retreats in Indiana. Bob will be missed, but his spirit was certainly present at the event. 

Multiple individuals from SJRVFF, LECTU, Duneland Fly Fishers, Flygirls, DRIFT, Three Rivers Fly Fishers, Colorado and Texas Women Fly Fishers, just to name a few, have contributed over the years to the Tie-a-thon and this year was no exception. Thanks to all of you that took the time to make a difference. The flies were truly outstanding. (It’s not too late to get your flies in either!)

This year the Tie-a-thon became a 501(c)3. As a non-profit, TAT soon began to fundraise to offset the cost of T-shirts and their mailing. Donations (and flies) are welcome and can be mailed to: Tie-a-thon, 711 Forest Avenue, South Bend, IN 46616.