Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

October 7, 2013

This run is for the kids

PV event to raise awareness for orphans

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — One much larger event sparked an idea for a Pauls Valley woman to organize something here as a way to bring more attention to the issue of orphans.

It’s something very familiar to Robyn Davidson and her husband Andy.

Both have put in years of mission work, and in the process wound up adopting an orphan from an African country.

That’s on top of the two foster children they care for, along with their own children.

Now Robyn is the driving force behind a both competitive and fun event meant to help educate the public about the many orphaned and fostered kids right here in Oklahoma

She calls it the 5K Run For Orphans.

The gathering for serious runners and a second event geared at families is planned for the morning of Saturday, Nov. 2 starting at the band shell in the local Wacker Park.

“The reason for the run is I’m new to running, so I decided to incorporate running and orphan awareness into this one event,” Robyn said during a recent visit with the Democrat.

The idea came from what’s called Orphan Sunday, a worldwide movement that one day a year recognizes the need for orphan care.

“I thought I wanted to do something here to raise awareness of orphans in our community and Oklahoma,” she said.

“I think there are a lot of people unaware of how many orphans there are in Oklahoma or foster care kids.

“This run is more about educating people and raising awareness about the people caring for orphans.”

The topic of orphans and foster children is an important one for Robyn and Andy, who is an associate pastor at a PV church.

The two spent a number of years working to build several churches in Zambia, Africa.

They have since adopted an orphan from there named Deacon, who is now a fourth-grader at Whitebead.

Along with their own four children they also care for two foster kids, all of them boys.

The numbers provided by Robyn also show there are nearly 10,000 foster children and almost 350 orphans in Oklahoma alone

That’s why she chose to have all the proceeds raised from the November run here go to Harvest Church in Oklahoma City.

The metro church has a ministry that helps kids, she said.

“The church has a camp each year for neglected or abused children,” Robyn said. “I have chosen to help that ministry.”

Donations will be accepted, while anyone choosing to run or walk in the event pays a registration fee.

The fee for those 16 and under is $15, team members are $20 and individuals are $25.

A competitive run on a course in Wacker Park is set to start at 8 a.m., while a fun walk and run will begin around 8:30 a.m.

“You do not have to be a runner to take part in this,” Robyn said. “This is for all ages, all levels of ability. This is a family friendly event.

“If you’re a serious runner and timing the run, you need to be there at 8 (a.m.),” she said, adding the non-competitive run and walk begins 30 minutes later.

Registration forms can be picked up and returned at the Reynolds Recreation Center in Wacker Park.

Participants registered before Oct. 15 will also receive a T-shirt for the event.

Contact Robyn at 405-201-9134 or run4orphans@yahoo.com for more.