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Reel for a Cure supports local cancer patient care and research with every fish caught

Date: 04/08/2021

 It’s not unusual for Steve Cole to catch more than 275 fish on Moosehead Lake over the course of a summer. An avid fisherman, Steve enjoys the thrill of reeling in a nice brookie, lake trout, or landlocked salmon. This year, he’s fishing with a greater purpose in mind: to fight cancer in our communities, and he’s inviting other anglers to join him.

Reel for a Cure is a spring and summer-long virtual fishing tournament that supports Champion the Cure Challenge, the region’s largest cancer fundraiser. Steve organized a trial run of Reel for a Cure in 2020, and he hopes to expand participation for 2021. Steve was inspired to start the event in memory of his wife and her journey with cancer.

“My wife was diagnosed with cancer and spent four years receiving treatment at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute,” he says. “We knew what the outcome was going to be, unfortunately, but the care was wonderful. Both of us saw the need to support the facility in Brewer.”

Anglers can participate individually or form a team. Participants decide how much to donate for each fish landed during the season; the suggested pledge is between one and five dollars per fish. Steve, now retired, plans to spend most of his summer fishing on Moosehead Lake, but others may choose to drop a line in their favorite local fishing holes.

“You can choose to fish your favorite waters, wherever they are in Maine,” he says. “It could be a river, pond, or anywhere you can catch fish out of your boat or canoe. You’ll be making a difference with every fish you catch.”

Reel for a Cure began on April 1 and continues through Labor Day. Anglers are encouraged to post pictures to the Champion the Cure Challenge participant pages throughout the summer. Trophies will be awarded to the three teams that raise the most money.

Every dollar raised will fund Northern Light Cancer Care research and patient care in Brewer. Recently, Champion the Cure Challenge funds were used to ensure access to groundbreaking clinical trials and make new technology that can reduce hair loss during chemotherapy more affordable for patients. Champion the Cure Challenge sponsors and participants have raised more than $5.25 million since 2010.

To register for Reel for a Cure, visit ctcchallenge.org, select “paddle,” choose “register” for an individual registration or “team options” to start a team, and select “Reel for a Cure” as the participant type. Visitors to the website may also learn more about and register for the Champion the Cure Challenge walk/run/cycle, paddle, and horse trail ride events.