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On River Time welcomes Wendy Garner as new Executive Director, announces camp dates

BIRMINGHAM (May 29, 2019) – On River Time is a Birmingham based nonprofit that provides abused and neglected children with mentoring and relationship building experiences through the sport of fly fishing. On River Time is pleased to announce Birmingham television veteran Wendy Garner will serve as its new Executive Director. Garner will start the role just in time for the organization’s annual fly fishing camps on the Snake River in Idaho. Twenty-seven children who have suffered abuse and neglect will experience the trip of a lifetime over two camps, May 28-June 2 and June 7-June 12 in Irwin, Idaho.

The mission of On River Time is to take children between the ages of 12 and 17, who have experienced the worst circumstances and provide them an unforgettable experience far away from everything they know—a chance for a dramatic pivot, as they are mentored and build new positive memories to carry with them the rest of their lives. On River Time serves youth from Big Oak Ranch in Alabama as well as Palmer Home and Homes of Hope for Children in Mississippi, and Still Creek Ranch in Texas.

Garner is an award winning television veteran who worked as a news anchor, reporter, and show host for WVTM in Birmingham as well as other stations. For the past several years, she has managed her own public relations and marketing firm, Wendy Garner Media & Marketing. Garner has been involved in many nonprofits over the years, serving on advisory boards and as the emcee for major fundraisers. She will bring her years of experience and heart for service to advance the mission of On River Time. Founder Steve Davis says, “We are excited to have Wendy join the On River Time family. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and ideas. I look forward to working with her and elevating our mission for kids who have suffered abuse and neglect.”

On River Time was started in 2012 by Davis. As an adult who suffered abuse as a child, he found healing while fly fishing on the waters of the Snake River. This year, the organization will have impacted the lives of more than 100 kids with an all-expense paid trip to a fly fishing camp. Garner says, “The direction of our lives is often made up of moments. On River Time ministers to the hearts and souls of these amazing kids by providing them with an unforgettable ‘moment’ where they are reminded that they have worth and value. I’m thrilled to be able to come alongside and help share the story of this incredible organization and make more of these life changing moments possible.” For more information visit OnRiverTime.org.

On River Time exists to change the lives of children who have survived abuse and neglect. A registered 501 (C)(3) organization, it uses fly fishing and mentorship to provide middle and high school aged children with hope and the inspiration to dream big. While the program is grounded in an unforgettable fly fishing trip, On River Time’s mentor network supports participants throughout the year in a way that cultivates their ability to trust and instills a heightened sense of value.

News

A Special Place to Anchor: On River Time to Host Eighth Year of Fly-Fishing Camps in Idaho for Abused Children

Birmingham, Ala.—May 29,2019 — Think of all the great experiences from your life that give you solace and meaning; in their place, some kids have very few or terrible experiences of violence, abuse, or abandonment. For the eighth consecutive year, nonprofit On River Time will guide abused and neglected children through the fly-fishing experience of a lifetime on Idaho’s famous Snake River. Twenty-seven kids from Alabama, Texas, and Mississippi will attend in two camp sessions, May 28-June 2 and June 7-12. They will receive expert-guided training and fishing excursions, engage in reflection activities, and learn about the ecosystem of the Snake River and Grand Tetons.

“We know that fly fishing in itself is conducive to peace and self-discovery,” said Founder Steve Davis, “but when you join that activity with a totally foreign geography—this impressive landscape, new knowledge and new caring people with whom to share it, it creates a mental anchor, a vivid memory for a hopeful future. For kids who have attended it is unforgettable, and not always for the most obvious reasons: it’s much more than ‘just fishing.’”

On River Time attendees are selected for being exemplary models of behavior at their respective partner homes: Still Creek Ranch (Bryan, TX), Big Oak Ranch (Springville, AL), Homes of Hope for Children (Purvis, MS), and Palmer Home (Hernando, MS).

Traveling, Lodging, Training

Campers will fly into Idaho Falls, the first plane flight ever for many of them. The dramatic foreign scenery is a significant part of the experience—the weather, mountains, high plains, animals, and snowy peaks, are all so strange compared to homes in Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama. They will spend their days at the 2014 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge of Year, The Lodge at Palisades Creek, with everything they need provided. Lifelong guides will show them what it takes to catch the three types of trout that live in the Snake River using their very own Orvis fly rods.

Fishing days are organized around team competitions. Each boat consists of a mentor (adult board member, junior board member, staff, or peer mentor) and a camper who inevitably form a connection in their eight hours on the water together.

Self Reflection

Campers are put into a context of self-belief and discovery, surrounded by supportive messages and reflection activities to make the most of their experiences. There is an interview activity, a worry burning session, nightly devotionals, and a pinning ceremony finale wherein campers share the impact others have had on them. On River Time strives to leave the kids with a sense of hope, bigger dreams, a sense of their own value, and the courage to trust others.

Tetons

One day of camp is spent exploring Grand Teton National Park with experts from the Teton Science Schools. They have the prospect of seeing eagles, moose, bear, mountain goats, and more in the primordial Yellowstone ecosystem.

Peer Mentors

The Fish On camp serves as a motivator and reward year after year. Peer mentors, exemplary campers from previous years, have a chance to return their senior year to help lead camp activities and set the tone for new campers.

“Exactly what will stick out to them in their mind’s eye is uncertain: for some it is the team aspect of fishing, others the opportunity to speak and share feelings, and for every kid so far it is ,in part, catching a trout by their own efforts and skill,” said Davis. “Every camper remarks that this is among the most unique positive experiences of their lives so far.”

About On River Time

On River Time exists to change the lives of children who have survived abuse and neglect. A registered 501 (C)(3) organization, it uses fly fishing and mentorship to provide middle and high-school aged children with hope and the inspiration to dream big. While the program is grounded in an unforgettable fly fishing trip, On River Time’s mentor network supports participants throughout the year in a way that cultivates their ability to trust and instills a heightened sense of value.

3 Office Park Circle, Suite 240, Birmingham, AL 35223  |  205.382.4568