Bozeman, Montana – When the first-ever pink drift boat came off the line at the RO drift boat factory in Bozeman, Montana, the initial reaction among local fishing guides was not exactly enthusiastic. “Who the heck would order a bright pink drift boat,” remarked an onlooker. “That’s the ugliest boat I’ve ever seen!” However, as these naysayers came to understand the concept and history behind “Rowing for the Cure”, their tune quickly changed. Suddenly, the pink boat is the hottest boat to row in the West.
Spawned by a collection of friends in the flyfishing industry, Rowing for the Cure is an innovative campaign to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. Prominent fishing guides throughout the western United States will row the pink boat for a few days at a time, accepting donations from clients, fellow anglers, onlookers – anyone interested in supporting the cause to find a cure for breast cancer – and then pass it on to the next outfitter, lodge or guide. The drift boat has a secure, self-contained drop box to hold donations that will go directly to the Montana Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure (www.komenmontana.org). All donations will be sent to Komen Montana after each guide’s stint in the pink boat. Guides who raise the most money will be recognized.
Rowing for the Cure is the brainchild of a collection of Montana anglers and flyfishing industry professionals, including: Rance Rathie and Travis Smith, owners of Patagonia River Guides, who dreamed up the pink boat concept to support some of their favorite female clients; Ian Davis, co-owner of Bozeman-based Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, whose mother, Judy, died of breast cancer (“Judy” is imprinted on the back of the boat in her honor); Robert Eddins, owner of RO Drift Boats, who donated his time and facility to manufacture Judy; and Whitney McDowell, an avid angler and marketing professional, whose mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor.
If you see the pink “Rowing for the Cure” boat while fishing or at the boat ramp, parked at your favorite post-fishing watering hole or at your local fly shop, please donate to this noble cause. You can also follow the adventures of the pink boat on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RowingForACure. If you are interested in guiding out of the boat or having the boat at your event, please contact Ian Davis at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, [email protected].