A Life-Changing Fly Fishing Experience for Children of Abuse and Neglect
According to the American Humane Association, 12 in every 1,000 children 18 and younger are abused each year in the U.S.—more than 800,000—and those are only the reported cases. On River Time is doing their part to bring peace to the victims in a unique way. This month, the nonprofit paid all expenses (rods, reels, lodging, food, clothing, travel, etc.) for 10 children to fly to Irwin, Idaho and receive instruction and guidance in all things fly fishing. It is a trip that they will never forget.
In 2012 Homewood resident and insurance executive Steve Davis founded On River Time, a 501(c)3 whose mission is to empower children of abuse and neglect through the experience of fly fishing among natural wonders and supportive friends. After 25 years of fly fishing, Davis realized that the sport was invaluable to his larger coping process as a victim of childhood abuse. He saw an opportunity to partner with his favorite Idaho fishing lodge—The Lodge at Palisades Creek—to bring children to some of the finest fly fishing in the world at this 2014 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge of the Year.
For three days the children are coached by expert guides and escorted along the Snake River to catch brown trout, rainbow trout and cutthroats. Along the river, they get to see moose, elk, bald eagles, canyons, snow-capped mountains and waterfalls, and the staff at the lodge also takes time to educate them on conservation and stewardship. The trip culminates with a tour of Yellowstone National Park. Most of the children range between 9 and 16 and come from the Big Oak Ranch in Springville and Gadsden, AL, a Christian home for children who need a chance. The distance and scale of the phenomena of this trip (for many, their first time on a plane) leaves them in awe.
But more important than grandeur of the destination is what this trip is intended to leave the children with: confidence and comfort. They experience fly fishing for the first time with people who uniquely understand and care for them. Davis encourages the children to “start dreaming now,” and not to wait to do what matters.
On River time has taken 17 children on this journey, and even bigger plans are in sight. The board of directors recently hired Jeana Durst as the nonprofit’s first Executive Director. Durst plans to expand the nonprofit’s footprint, involving more business partners and children’s homes for future trips. Other long-term plans include a second trip, a college scholarship and even a private On River Time cabin.
Get Involved: Join On River Time September 25 at B&A Warehouse for “Fish On,” a silent and live auction fundraising event featuring music, food and inspiration. John Croyle, founder of the Big Oak Ranch will be the keynote speaker for the evening. Corporate tables and a variety of sponsorship opportunities are available.
More information at www.onrivertime.org.
About On River Time
On River Time is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers children of abuse and neglect through the experience of fly fishing among natural wonders and supportive friends. Selecting participants from reputable, national nonprofits, On River Time pays all expenses for these young persons and their parents or guardians to enjoy three nights and two days of fly fishing at The Lodge at Palisades Creek on the banks of the Snake River in Swan Valley, Idaho. There, in the shadows of the Grand Tetons, participants enjoy nature’s grandeur, learn skills that will serve them a lifetime, and make connections with others who uniquely understand them. Steven Davis, author and advocate for abused children, founded On River Time in 2012 after many years of realizing the therapeutic effect of fly fishing in his own life. The organization is based in Birmingham, AL.