The Wood River Run – Just Get Outside

We’re swiftly coming up on our third year as organizers of the Wood River Run. We got involved after two previous Runs – virtual due to Covid – and we’re grateful for the opportunity to continue this successful event.

Christian’s parents approached us to help expand the event’s mission and impact. Since getting involved in 2022, the Wood River Run has become one of our signature events. This year the event is sponsored by the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation and C & F Bank.

Part of the impetus for creating the Wood River Run was to provide funding for the Christian Wood Scholarship Fund, which helps send disadvantaged kids to Passages Adventure Camp. Passages is one of the Summer Camps that operates in the James River Park System, and teaches kids lessons in biking, kayaking, rock climbing, and enjoying the great outdoors.

These scholarships allow for kids from all different backgrounds to be able to participate in these experiences on Belle Isle and build lasting relationships with the Park. We split the money raised through the Run between the Christian Wood Scholarship Fund and support for our mission to Protect, Expand, and Enhance the JRPS.  It costs money to run that fantastic program, and families pay to register their children for lessons in biking, kayaking, rock climbing, and enjoying the great outdoors. Not every family in the region, however, has the means to send their children to Passages, and the scholarships give them that opportunity. Last year, the Wood River Run raised over $40,000, which helped send over two dozen kids to Passages and supported several major projects in the Park.

All of this came about because of the passions of Christian Wood. He was a talented young kayaker, a member of the Trinity High School Outdoor Program, and was himself a graduate of Passages. His greatest joy was jumping into his kayak and plunging into the James River.

Christian WoodTragically, a kayaking accident took his life in 2018, but his memory lives on through the Wood River Run and the Passages scholarships in his name. Many of us never had a chance to meet him personally, and we are proud to be able to carry on this work in his name.

You can register for the race, or make a donation to the cause, here:

We recently spoke to his parents, and they reminded us of his mantra: Just Get Outside and Be Kind.

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