What’s a Sister for after all? A Sister is someone you call on when you’re feeling a little misunderstood or, a little goofy or, maybe just little bored. A Sister may be the only person who supports you when you’re trying something new or helps you to get out of a rut. In some cases, a Sister maybe the only one there for you when you’re, sick – really sick, or sad – really sad, or maybe both.
Clearly, Sisterhood is a life-must-have and the founders of Sisters on the Fly were eager to expand on this idea. So eager that they built a nationwide, 24/7 network of Sisters. As Sister #839, Trish O’Neill put it, “It’s a true sisterhood where we really support one another in our efforts to not just be independent, but to be empowered.”
This support has come in all forms. One such form is our founder Maurrie Sussman’s “Traveling Quilt” project. Maurrie, a long-time quilter, had the idea to send quilts to members who were undergoing difficult medical treatments.
She and other quilting Sisters began making, restoring and shopping for these quilts in earnest whenever they learned of Sister in need. These traveling quilts are frequently passed from Sister to Sister during times of medical or emotional turmoil.
“It’s absolutely amazing to see the response that little blanket brings to people when they know that they’re thought of and that people care about them,” said 61-year-old Vicki Frank, Sister #4117.
For Frank, a once single mother battling skin cancer, the Sisters’ support gave them the inspiration needed and helped them change self-perceptions that used to hold them back.
The group’s dedication to helping women in difficult times extends to their support of Casting for Recovery. Casting for Recovery is a non-profit founded in 1996 by two women – a breast reconstructive surgeon and a professional fly fisher. The two developed a program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. Casting for Recovery offers fly fishing retreats where women can find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life and experience the healing connections of Sisterhood in nature.
Given Sisters on the Fly commitment to empowering women through outdoor activities, the two groups quickly became soul-Sisters. On a national level, Sisters on the Fly is an official sponsor of the Casting for Recovery efforts and since 2012, the group has raised $150,000 in support.
It’s a privilege to support Casting for Recovery,” says Sisters on the Fly Co-Founder, Maurrie Sussman. “Their mission so completely resonates with our members, and the result is another year of amazing events and fundraising efforts. It’s been a complete inspiration to grow alongside this amazing community as we work together to help women discover the healing power of the outdoors.”
But what may be even more impressive is the group’s ability to turn simple parties and get-togethers into creative ways to fundraise for Casting for Recovery. For instance, Sister #1990 Lori Bordwell Thompson hosted a simple Saturday evening BBQ dinner in her town Bennett Spring, MO to raise money for Casting For Recovery, The event gave attendees the chance to enjoy good food, kayaking, and an afternoon by the river, all while raising money for a good cause.
In addition to the grassroots support, Sisters on the Fly also supports CfR’s flagship event, “Cast One for Hope,” a national fundraiser hosted in Bitterroot River outside of Hamilton, Montana. Local guides provide boats to float the day away and in the evening, guests enjoy festive dinner and a live auction. Cast One for Hope kicks off Friday Oct. 2nd!
Big or small, simple or elaborate – the Sister support is strong, wide-reaching and one of life’s best gifts!