On September 20, 2008 the first River Run for Orphans was held in Durango, Colorado. There were 140 participants and the event raised $10,000 for orphans. Hosting the event was the River Church, with its pastor Dwight Saunders. The Saunders family has adopted 12 children from around the world. Their courage and passion have inspired this event every year.
The 2nd Annual Durango event in 2009 saw increase of resources created for orphans with a total of $23,000 raised by participants and business sponsors. After two years a vision to expand this event to other cities began to formulate. River Run for Orphans became a non- profit corporation with a board of directors.
In 2010, Rocky Mountain Calvary became the host church for an event in Colorado Springs. Their event director used our event planner to organize their first event. The 3rd Annual Durango River Run for Orphans saw a huge increase in attendance and in money raised. That event raised $51,000 of resources that would serve orphans. Our new venue of Fort Lewis College allowed for greater community involvement with great vistas of the surrounding mountains.
We expanded to 4 Colorado cities in 2011, with events in Ft. Collins, Grand Junction, Durango and Colorado Springs. The total money raised for orphans came to $124,000, with Durango raising $76,000. Another sign of growth at the Durango event was the participation of 24 groups in the “Orphans Around the World” expo. Back in 2008, we had 4 groups represented.
Our goal is to keep adding new events in communities throughout the country, so that more orphans can have the resources they need to have hope and a future. These events become an annual opportunity for a community to work together to serve orphans in a variety of ways. A River Run for Orphans event allows people to see what others are doing for orphan care, while others acquire information and a passion to also serve orphans.