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13th Annual Run for Ryan House at Mesa’s Riverview Park

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Participants during the March 2016 Run for Ryan House at DC Ranch in Scottsdale. (Courtesy of Ryan House)

An event for celebration, remembrance and community, the 13th Annual Run for Ryan House will be in Mesa for the first time at Riverview Park this Saturday, Oct. 7. It’s just one way the organization helps foster meaningful relationships to provide world-class care for children and support for their families.

The nonprofit organization based in Phoenix began offering services to children at the 12,500-square-foot home in 2010. Ryan House has a Memorial Garden and rooms, including a family room, arts and crafts, sensory and music, as well as bedrooms, family suites and a kitchen to help children and their families be as comfortable as possible during care.

Participants during the March 2016 Run for Ryan House. (Courtesy of Ryan House)

“Before opening its doors in 2010, Ryan House was formed and was an idea and vision of our founders, Ryan’s parents since 2004,” said Alyssa Crockett, executive director of Ryan House. “And so, the idea of the run was to raise awareness within the community about Ryan House and what that vision was.”

Crockett said Ryan House came to a point where they thought it was the right time to move to another location in the Valley where they haven’t had the run before, while still providing the same education about the organization and the opportunities to connect with people in the community.

“We’ve served so many children in Mesa in the East Valley, and so this seemed like the perfect place to move to,” Crockett said, citing this year’s run location at Riverview Park.

“We were looking around the Valley at event spaces that were pretty easy to work with and we loved the place around the Cubs spring training stadium,” said Marghan Miller, director of development and events at Ryan House. “We liked that it was easily accessible, and it’s a nice flat course that when our families are bringing their kids in their wheelchairs, it’s easier for them to navigate.”

Ryan himself will be kicking off the courses, and this year’s run will have a 5K and 1 Mile Family Fun Run. In addition, the run includes activities before and after like a vendor expo, a warm up by Fit4Mom Metro Phoenix chapter and Rooted Community Yoga for all ages. Ryan House is expecting 600 people at Saturday’s run.

As well as serving as a community event, all funds through sponsorship, registration or donations go toward benefiting Ryan House and allowing them to continue their mission to provide world-class care to children and support the families through their programs.

“When the run first started, the primary objective was education, advocacy and fundraising, so Ryan House remains 100 percent supported by the community,” Crockett said. “Now that the run has grown in its meaning for our families that we’ve served, Ryan House is providing world-class medical care on site, also community of support beyond our walls.”

While the run is a great way for families, extended family members and friends to form strong teams that come together in celebration of a child, and for other participants, the run is a way to honor a child they lost at Ryan House.

“They will make special T-shirts honoring the child, a tribute to their memory…it’s really a beautiful, fun, multi-purpose event,” Crockett said.

“We’re looking to not only have our families come out and support us and have the joy of the day, but have people across the Valley understand who we are, what we do, come out and support us or learn from us,” Miller said. “So, while we’re located in central Phoenix, our families are all over the Valley…let people know there might be somebody a door or street over from them who is receiving our services and how we’re supporting them even though we aren’t in Mesa.”

Run for Ryan House will be from 7 to 11 a.m. on Oct. 7 at Riverview Park, 2100 W. Rio Salado Parkway in Mesa.

To learn more about Ryan House, visit RyanHouse.org.

– Mesa resident Alyssa Tufts is a freelance writer for MyNewsMesa.com.

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