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Spotlight: Doe River Gorge Ministries

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Rarely do most people have the opportunity to see “4:30 a.m.” flashing on an alarm clock; nor do most people want to. Rarely do most people run a half marathon before breakfast. But this has become somewhat of a routine for Samantha Legge, a 41 year-old, married, homeschooling, stay-at-home mother of four who is training for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. For Sam, who runs between 50 – 70 miles per week, most of the time before her children wake up, this extreme effort is not about self-accomplishment or the thrill of running a nationally televised 26.2 mile race. For Sam, who just a short time ago had never run a mile in her life, is today undertaking the most ambitious challenge of her life – to raise awareness and foundational financial support for  Doe River Gorge (DRG), a ministry that is dear and very near to her heart.

While running last spring Sam, whose husband is a missionary for DRG, was trying to find meaning in her exercise when she had a providential thought: why not train for a marathon. Why not train for the 2012 ING New York City marathon and raise money for DRG. Inspired by a similar effort by Timex and a professional athlete last year, Sam proposed to DRG that she intentionally start dead last, behind 47,000 runners, seek pledges for a proposed penny for every runner she passes and give every cent raised to DRG. After the initial shock subsided from DRG leadership, A Penny A Pass was born and the rest is history. Sam has been telling her story on Facebook, Twitter, to every church, civic group, TV, radio and newspaper outlet and person on the street that will listen. With a goal to pass 35000 runners A Penny A Pass has gained excellent traction with pledges coming from friends, family, churches, non-profits and corporations.

Doe River Gorge is a great place for students, families, corporations, Fathers and Sons to find their faith, be inspired, bond and make life-long friendships. While traversing multiple high ropes courses, flying on hair-raising zip lines, tubing through Class III whitewater rapids, repelling sheer rock walls, all in this picturesque Blue Ridge canyon, students and adults learn about themselves, learn trust, teamwork, unconditional love and about their faith. Each year during DRG’s Summer Camp series, hundreds of kids each year have their lives forever changed by this ministry.

But Christian adventure camp is not affordable for everyone. Sam and DRG want to change that. Revenues generated from this extraordinary effort will go to help underwrite summer camps at DRG and provide scholarships for children attending the camps. Sam says “the children are the reason I’m doing this… I get to see hundreds of lives turned upside down and set right every summer. DRG changes lives and I want to help!”

“Great cause, one mile at a time” was the opening line of a Tennessee local news anchor introducing Sam Legge to the world a few weeks back. A Penny A Pass has inspired hundreds to support a ministry already and continues to do so one very early morning mile at a time.  

Consider joining Sam and supporting this terrific ministry.  And if you happen to wake up in the 4 a.m. hour this week, rather than rolling over, consider checking out this inspiring video, learning more about the dynamic, life-impacting mission of Doe River Gorge Ministries, the legacy the ministry has had on over 22,000 young people since 1995, and the evident passion to minister to the hearts of the coming generations of young people.