2023 marked the 15th anniversary of the Spring Fly Fling, a Moorman’s River fly-fishing retreat offered free-of-charge for women cancer survivors annually thanks to Women’s Committee support. A cover story in the Spring 2023 Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital Magazine highlighted The Bugslinger Warrier Sisterhood™, as the women call themselves. They are now more than 150 women strong, with many alumni returning as volunteers every year to support a new group of women on their healing journey.
Longtime TWC member Susan Kreiner attended the retreat and speaks to the impact: “We were all so different—but when you stripped it down, we were all going through the same thing. Someone would tell a story, and I’d break down while they were talking because I could totally relate to their experiences.”
The retreat is the brainchild of Mark Andrews, founder of Therapeutic Adventures, and James “Chubby” Damron, president of Thomas Jefferson Trout Unlimited. Crozet’s Montfair Resort Farm rents space for the event at a deep discount, Shenandoah Joe Coffee Roasters supplies coffee, and a local vintner provides fine wine from his private cellar. This year, 33 volunteers provided more than 300 hours of volunteer service to give the women a weekend of exquisite food, fly-fishing, massage, yoga, entertainment, and, most of all, camaraderie.
As retreat alumna and longtime volunteer Neli Ramirez puts it, “When you are in such a relaxed, supportive and accepting environment—with music, good food, a cozy fireplace and even some silliness—you can’t help but experience joy.”