Ryan and Lola Rahn have never stopped mourning the loss of their son, Jordan Rahn,
but they have turned their loss into a way of helping children in foster care.
The annual Jordan Rahn Forever Young Run is a result of the tragedy that claimed the
young life of Jordan Rahn, who died unexpectedly in October of 2013 at the age of 19
while playing football with friends. Proceeds from the upcoming sixth annual Run, in memory of their son, will be used to
benefit children in foster care, including Foster Hope, which was founded by the Rahn
couple in April of 2017. The 2019 Jordan Rahn Forever Young Run is Saturday, Aug. 24, and is planned in
conjunction with Atkinson Heritage Days, which are Friday, Aug. 23, and Saturday, Aug.
24. In addition to the kayak, to b e awarded to a race participant who is 18 years of age
or older, there also will be bikes awarded to one boy and one girl who participate in the
Run and are at least 12 years old or younger. Free family activities are planned in Veterans Park after the race as well as a beer
garden and live music at the post race party with music by Quad City musicians – Jef
Spradley Duo. Lola Rahn said since the first Jordan Rahn Run was organized in memory of their son,
she has heard comments from race participants about how they enjoy the signs of
encouragement along the race route. “We are hoping for even more signs in this year’s race and we are offering three cash
prizes this year of $100, $75 and $50 to those people who display the most
encouragement to runners and walkers,” she said. Since it began in 2014, the Run has raised $18,000 for Royal Family Kids Camp;
purchased five Chrome Books for college-bound students in foster care, for the second
year will award a scholarship for a middle student to attend a field trip to Washington,
D.C. Some of the funds from a previous race were used to pay for riding lessons at Sol’s
Legacy, Rahn said. Sol’s Legacy in rural Atkinson is a program using horses to help
children. As a result of that first run, Rahn has been able to connect with several foster care
parents and she and her husband started a foster parent support group, Foster Hope that
meets at 6 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month in Foster Hope offices located in the
former Atkinson Grade School, 107 South State St. Foster Hope is a 501-c3 non-profit organization and Rahn said, “Our mission is to
educate, inspire and support the foster care community. Educate by providing a place for
foster parent trainings, including CPR classes; Inspire by providing a place for our
monthly support group meetings; support by being able to meet the immediate needs of a
foster family after they receive a child in their home such as providing them with diapers,
clothes, cribs and other necessary items.” “The support we have received has allowed us to double Foster Hope space,” she said.
“This additional space allows us to provide necessary items for teens that are aging out of
foster care and their needs include bedding, towels, and pillows – everything they might
need to begin independent living.” “We now have a retail donor partnership with Bed Bath & Beyond in Davenport and
that has really helped us to support the teens that are going off to college or staring to live
independently,” she said. “We periodically receive new items from the Davenport
business that we can distribute through Foster Hope.” Their own experiences led the Rahn couple to sponsor a memorial run in honor of their
son and to use the funds raised from the event to help children in foster care.
“Jordan had a heart condition, Cardiomyopathy,” his mother said. “He was passionate
about life, a fun-loving competitive natured young man with a wonderful sense of humor
that drew people to him.” She said in his youth her son participated in several 5K/1 mile runs and also ran the Bix
7 when he was nine years old. “Perhaps what Jordan did best was to be an awesome big brother to the many foster children who were in our home through the years,” Rahn said, and she explained she and her husband have been foster parents for 27 years. “We have had over 50 foster children in our home, some only for a day or two and
others for months or even years,” she said. “We are especially blessed to have adopted
two of our five children from foster care.” “The Jordan Rahn Forever Young Run is not just a Run, it’s a ‘movement,’” she said.
“When Ryan and I started foster parenting 27 years ago, we felt like we were the only
foster parents in the area. It is great to see so many local young families answering the
call to foster care and to help them get connected with each other. We are also passionate
about raising awareness for the need for more foster homes.” “Recently we held training for prospective foster care parents at Foster Hope in
Atkinson and I am happy to say there are now 12 new foster parents in Henry County.”
Rahn shared a quote she likes that states, “Not everyone can be a foster parent, but
everyone can help a child in foster care.”
REGISTRATION INFORMATIONRace information: Jordan Rahn Forever Young Run – Saturday, Aug. 24, 5 K at
8 a.m. and one-mile run/walk at 9 a.m.
Where: Veterans Memorial Park, Atkinson.
Registration: Online at www.jordanrahnforeveryoungrun.org Forms also available
at Atkinson Casey’s and at L&J Home Town Markets in Atkinson and Annawan.
More information available on face book at Jordan Rahn Forever Young Run.
Race director: Katie VanAntwerp.