July 29, 2021

From virtual to in-person events, our athletes are on pace to make 2021 our best fundraising year yet!

We sprinted into 2021 and haven’t looked back. Wander Project has been fortunate to engage with Vacation Races for in-person events, and with the Virtual Running Club and Navajo Yes for a variety of virtual events that support some of the most inspiring missions to date. 

With Vacation Races events being 100% in-person and many of them selling out, our athletes have raised over $100,000 for communities from Zion to Glacier, and so many more in-between. Below is a list of organizations and projects supported in just the first half of 2021:

  • Nature Conservancy: Sheep Bridge Nature Preserve- $6,802 
  • Data for Black Lives: D4BL educational and community resource hubs throughout the country- $4,500
  • Friends of Saguaro: Next Generation Ranger Corps Internship Program- $2,000
    • VR donates an additional  $5000 to support this project!!
  • Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum: Buffelgrass Awareness and eradication programs-  $2,102.07
  • Yosemite Conservancy: Sponsor a Trail Crew for the Legendary Valley Trails- $25,000
  • Seattle Cancer Care Alliance: Provide education and prevention programs, and financial assistance to patients that need support-  $1,931.31
  • Great Basin K9 SAR: Outfit K9 SAR teams $6,032.50
  • Grand Staircase Escalante Partners: Completion of renovations on new Education and Culture Building and support educational community programs based on local ecology, stewardship and cultural history- $12,500
  • Grand Teton National Park Foundation: GTNPF’s Youth Engagement Initiative -$10,000
  • West Yellowstone Foundation: Multiple Projects -$5,000
    • To support Heritage Park – wild trout exhibit at the Yellowstone Historic Center; 
    • To support Bob Jacklin Casting Pond – the maintenance of a casting pond where local fly fisherman provide fly casting lessons; 
    • To support GreenUp West Yellowstone – a group that works towards a more sustainable West Yellowstone through projects that educate, encourage, and contribute to promoting sustainability, protecting resources, and cultivating stewardship of our community, and
    • Smoking Waters – a summer day camp for youth that encourages outdoor activity and education
  • Glacier National Park Conservancy: Conservation efforts at Two Dog Flats -$7500
  • Glacier-Two medicine Alliance: Support a “Blackfeet Community Organizer” to help connect, engage and mobilize community toward permanent protection of Badger-Two Medicine -$4,000
  • PLA: Unrestricted to support the recovering public lands communities- $10,000 
  • Make A Wish SC- Support wishes for youth with critical illnesses- $3,100.03
  • Team Semper Fi & America’s Fund- General program support to combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families-$1,282.50
  • Wander Project- Support general operating – $2,632.50

Virtual Events

As the virus continues to have a presence in many of our communities, we are also grateful to continue to provide support for communities through virtual events. 

We have been engaging with Navajo Yes for many of their virtual events since the beginning of the year to support their mission of promoting health and wellbeing on the Navajo Reservation. This organization and community has been hit hard by the effects of Covid 19 and we are so inspired by the athletes that are continually choosing charity bibs to support their virtual events. Our hope is to start supporting charity bib athletes for in-person Navajo Yes events by the end of the year, but in the meantime, below are the events that we helped raise funds for so far: 

  • Little Colorado River Gorge Virtual Events- $541.80
  • Monument Valley Virtual Events- $1,397.87
  • Shiprock Marathon Virtual Events- $1,644.19

We also are still supporting our athletes from the Virtual Running Club’s Reach Your Peak- Seven Summit Series! These athletes were able to choose organizations in their hometowns to support and we will be sending out proceeds to our Running for Wishes fundraising team! This team brought together 8 athletes to support the mission of Make-A-Wish South Carolina and we will be sending them a check for $4,540.50 for their efforts!

Finally, we had a new organization reach out for their virtual event. The Illinois Science Council hosted their annual Pi Day run virtually this year and we had one charity bib athlete go above and beyond to support their mission. Their efforts brought in $325 to support the mission of the Council to produce and promote engaging science events happening in and around Chicago. 

I’m not sure if you were doing the math along the way, but that total is $117,815.91!

This is 100% because of athletes like YOU, so thank you for continuing to support Wander Project and choosing to do more with your next run!

About the author 

Amy Ben-Horin

Amy has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past 14 years. While her work has primarily been focused within the youth and education realm, she, like most people in the nonprofit sector, has worn almost every hat imaginable, including co-founder for an organization in 2014. Amy has also had the honor of presenting at TEDx Vail in 2016, sharing what she believes is the key to helping youth reach their full potential. Stepping into the role of Executive Director for another start-up organization, Amy is passionate about service to others and is extremely excited to help support the amazing mission of Wander Project.

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